Taliban reject UN report on civilian deaths

Afghan`s Taliban insurgents rejected as political a UN report blaming them for more than three quarters of civilian deaths in last year.

Kabul: Afghanistan`s Taliban insurgents on Sunday
rejected as "political" a UN report blaming them for more than
three quarters of civilian deaths in the country last year.

An annual UN report released yesterday said civilian
deaths from Afghanistan`s decade-long civil war reached a
record high in 2011.

A total of 3,021 civilians died, mostly at the hands of
insurgents, up eight per cent from 2,790 in 2010, according to
the report from the United Nations Assistance Mission in
Afghanistan (UNAMA).

"In this report UNAMA has tried to be more political than
to focus on human rights," the Taliban said in a statement
posted on their website.

"In the past 10 years the United Nations have continually
tried to hide the inhuman crimes of the main perpetrators
(foreign forces) of the current war and make their crimes look

According to the UN report, the Taliban-led insurgents
caused 77 percent of the deaths last year, up 14 percent from
2010, while pro-government forces were responsible for killing
410 civilians, 14 per cent of the total.

Another 279 deaths, nine per cent, could not be attributed
to either side.

The record loss of life was blamed mainly on changes in
the insurgents` tactics, which saw an increased use of
homemade bombs and deadlier suicide attacks.

Most deaths attributed to NATO forces were a result of
attacks from the air, but there was an overall decline of four
per cent in the number of civilians killed by pro-government

The militants also accused the UN of following the US
policies in Afghanistan.

"About Afghanistan, most of the time your stance does not
differ from that of the White House," they said.

"In some cases UN repeats what the White House says, which
makes people think that UN confirms US policies and is not an
independent body."


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