Afghan civilian casualties up 10%: UN figures

Last Updated: Tuesday, December 29, 2009 - 16:29

Kabul: The war in Afghanistan is becoming
deadlier, killing 10 percent more civilians during the first
10 months of 2009 compared to the previous period last year,
according to UN figures.

Figures released to a news agency by the UN Assistance Mission in
Afghanistan (UNAMA) show civilian deaths in the first 10 months of 2009 at 2,038, up from 1,838 for the same period of
2008 -- an increase of 10.8 percent.

The figures show that the vast majority, or 1,404
civilians, were killed by insurgents, who are fighting for the
overthrow of the government of President Hamid Karzai and to
eject Western troops.

UNAMA said that 468 deaths were caused by pro-government
forces, including NATO and US-led forces, and 166 by "other
actors".

The war blighting Afghanistan is now into a ninth year
and has escalated over the course of 2009 as more
international troops have been injected into the theatre,
leading to more battles with Taliban-led militants.

More than 110,000 foreign troops are battling the
insurgency, under US and NATO command, with that figure set to
rise to around 150,000 by late 2010 with the arrival of
another 30,000 US and 6,800 NATO troops.

The Taliban is increasingly relying on homemade bombs to
fight foreign and Afghan troops, although they exact a
horrific toll on civilians.

PTI



First Published: Tuesday, December 29, 2009 - 16:29

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