Taliban denies most Afghan civilian deaths caused by rebels

Last Updated: Friday, January 8, 2010 - 11:30

New York: The Taliban has rejected UN chief Ban Ki-moon`s charge that most civilian casualties in Afghanistan have been caused by anti-government rebels, a US monitoring group said.
"Last year, about three times as many civilian deaths were attributed to anti-government elements as to pro-government forces," Ban told the UNSC on Wednesday.

"Most resulted from suicide attacks and improvised explosive devices used by anti-government elements," the Secretary General added.

Ban`s accusation "tramples" on UN principles of neutrality, the Taliban said on Thursday, according to the SITE Intelligence group.

The Afghan militia, ousted in a US-led attack in 2001, countered that NATO forces and their allies were responsible for civilian casualties and that assertions to the contrary were meant to create animosity between the population and the insurgents.

The group said that the US Defence Department may have pushed Ban to make the statement.

"You should know that partial judgment and blind support of one side and condemnation of the other only irreparably harms your credibility which will surely result into playing havoc with your standing in the world, particularly, in Afghanistan," the Taliban told the UN boss, according to SITE.

PTI



First Published: Friday, January 8, 2010 - 11:30

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