Entries in Civilian Deaths (9)


Civilian Deaths in Afghanistan Down for First Time in Six Years

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(KABUL, Afghanistan) -- The number of civilians who died in Afghanistan has dropped for the first time in six years, according to the latest findings from the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA).

The U.N. report, released on Tuesday, found that 2,754 civilians were killed last year -- a 12 percent decrease from 2011.

The decline in casualties is due in part to:

  • Less ground fighting among parties involved in the conflict
  • A decrease in suicide bombings
  • Fewer aerial attacks
  • Steps taken by pro-government forces to minimize harm to civilians

Despite the drop in civilian deaths, the number of people injured rose 9 percent in 2012 to 4,805.

"The situation for civilians is still very difficult in many communities.  And many thousands of Afgans are affected by the armed conflict," says Georgette Gagnon, a U.N. human rights official.

"We are again calling on all concerned to redouble their efforts, increase their efforts, to protect civilians," Gagnon adds.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Mother and Newborn Baby Among Dead in Afghanistan Roadside Attack

ABC News(NEW YORK) -- Six people, including a mother and her newborn baby, were killed when a roadside bomb exploded in eastern Afghanistan on Sunday, the BBC reports.

The group was traveling home from the hospital through Khost province on the Pakistan border when the bomb exploded. Three women, two men and the newborn baby of one of the women were killed in the blast. A Taliban spokesman said the group was aware of the incident but could not immediately deny or confirm involvement, according to the BBC.

In the first six months of the year, some 1,145 civilians were killed in Afghanistan, according to the United Nations, which blames 80 percent of these deaths on insurgents.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Afghan Civilian Casualties Drop in 2012

Kaveh Kazemi/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- For the first time since 2007, the number of civilian casualties in the Afghanistan war has fallen.

According to figures compiled by the United Nations, there was a drop of more than 20 percent in deaths from January through April this year compared to the same period in 2011.

If the numbers are accurate, they could help ease tensions between the coalition and the government of Afghan President Hamid Karzai who've long been at odds over the use of air strikes and night raids to go after the Taliban and its allies.

U.N. special representative for Afghanistan Jan Kubis said Wednesday that the Taliban was to blame for 79 percent of the 579 civilians killed during the first four months of 2012, with NATO and Afghan forces responsible for nine percent.  That also represents a decrease since the coalition and national forces accounted for 14 percent of civilian deaths in 2011.

It's unclear what caused the remaining casualties.

If this pattern holds, the death toll of Afghan civilians could be well under the 3,021 killed in 2011.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Two Dozen Afghans Die in IED Attack on Buses

ABC News(KABUL, Afghanistan) -- Civilians continue to face the biggest danger from insurgents operating in Afghanistan.

The violence targeting ordinary Afghans was evident Thursday as two minibuses were attacked while driving on a road that was booby-trapped by an improvised explosive device, or IED, in the western province of Herat.

Afghan officials said that two dozen people were killed in the assault that also left 11 wounded.

Many of the victims were women and children who were heading to Herat city to shop for a holiday that marks the end of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan in two weeks.

No one stepped up to claim responsibility for the roadside bombs, although there's speculation that the Taliban was behind the attacks.

Rear Adm. Hal Pittman, a NATO spokesman, remarked, "Insurgents plan attacks such as these without regard for the civilians they kill, looking for the attention of the media."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


NATO Admits to Afghan Civilian Deaths in Two Assaults on Taliban

U.S. State Department(KABUL, Afghanistan) -- NATO is once again on the hot seat in Afghanistan after acknowledging Thursday that a number of women and children died when the coalition targeted Taliban fighters earlier this week.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai recently demanded that NATO stop its airstrikes against homes where civilians might live.  He said that if the coalition persisted in launching these assaults, his government would take "unilateral action" to prevent them.

Karzai has not yet remarked on the latest incidents in Khost and Ghazni, two provinces in eastern Afghanistan.

According to NATO officials, troops in Khost called in an airstrike when they came under fire from insurgents of the Taliban-linked Haqqani network.  While the war jets killed the enemy fighters, "a number of associated family members" also died in the attack.

One local Afghan official reported that three women and six children were killed.

In the second incident, a NATO war jet struck a suspected insurgent planting a roadside bomb.  However, the strike also left two shepherds dead.

Afghan protests followed both incidents, calling for American forces to leave Afghanistan.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


NATO Apologizes for Airstrike that Killed Afghan Civilians

NATO(KABUL, Afghanistan) -- Following a NATO airstrike that killed at least nine civilians in Afghanistan, the U.S. has issued an apology, promising to investigate the matter.

In a statement issued Sunday by the International Security Assistance Force, the U.S. said that on Saturday, coalition forces were taking fire from insurgents in the Now Zad district in Helmand province.  The insurgents were occupying a compound there and were using it to attack ISAF troops.  One U.S. Marine was killed as a result.

Coalition forces proceeded to neutralize the attack by calling for an airstrike.  But after the bombs were dropped, NATO learned that innocent civilians were inside the compound at the time of the airstrike.

NATO offered its "heartfelt apologies to the families and friends of those killed," and asked "that the Afghan people continue to trust and assist their security forces, so that together we can stop the senseless killing brought upon us by an enemy who wants to exploit the Afghan people through fear and violence."

The military alliance said the incident is under investigation.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Blasts Kill 8 at Kandahar Dogfight

Photo Courtesy - ABC News(KABUL, Afghanistan) -- At least eight civilians are dead after two bombs exploded during an illegal dogfight in the volatile Afghan province of Kandahar.

Five officers, who had arrived to break up the gathering, were also injured in the explosion.

Officials say villagers had gathered in the Arghandab district to watch the fight when two explosions tore through the crowd of spectators.

It is unclear whether civilians or security forces were the target of the attacks.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Afghanistan: ISAF Accused of Causing 50 Civilian Deaths in Kunar

Photo Courtesy - ABC News(KABUL, Afghanistan) -- The International Security Assistance Force has said it will look into allegations that coalition forces are responsible for killing dozens in the northeastern Afghan province of Kunar.

According to an ISAF press release, the Kunar provincial governor has claimed that the ISAF killed 50 civilians during operations in the province over the past several days.

“We take allegations of civilian casualties very seriously. We are conducting an immediate assessment of these allegations and will report our findings,” said U.S. Army Col. Patrick Hynes, director of the ISAF Joint Command Combined Joint Operations Center.

The accusations come following an operation in a remote valley of the province, during which the ISAF said 36 insurgents carrying weapons were killed.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Violent Deaths in Iraq Reach 'Impassable Minimum'

Photo Courtesy -- Getty Images(IRAQ) – The number of civilian lives claimed by violence in Iraq has reached its lowest level since the U.S.-led invasion in 2003, according to a group that tracks casualties.

The annual report from Iraq Body Count (IBC) shows that violent deaths in the country fell under 4,000 this year, down 15 percent from 2009. Although lower, the IBC calls the 2010 figure an “impassable minimum” that is likely to remain constant in the coming years.

According to the report, the number represents nearly two explosions a day, 66 percent of which were caused by insurgent bomb attacks.

"After nearly eight years, the security crisis in Iraq remains notable for its sheer relentlessness: 2010 averaged nearly two explosions a day by non-state forces that caused civilian deaths," the IBC said. "As well as occurring almost daily, these lethal explosions can happen almost anywhere, with 2010's attacks occurring in 13 of Iraq's 18 administrative regions."

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

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