UN fudges Afghan casualties

WASHINGTON, KABUL – The number of civilians killed in United
States Special Operations Forces (SOF) raids last year was probably
several times higher than the figure of 80 people cited in the United
Nations report on civilian casualties in Afghanistan published last
week, an Inter Press Service (IPS) investigation has revealed.

The report also failed to apply the same humanitarian law standard
for defining a civilian to its reporting on SOF raids that it applied to
its accounting for Taliban assassinations.

The March 9 report, produced by the Human Rights unit of the United
Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) jointly with the
Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC), said a total of
80 civilians were killed in

“search and seizure operations” by “Pro-Government Forces” in 2010.

But AIHRC commissioner Nader Nadery told IPS the figure represented
only the number of civilian deaths in night raids in the 13 incidents
involving SOF units that the commission had been able to investigate
thoroughly. Nadery said the AIHRC had received complaints from local
people alleging civilian casualties in 60 additional incidents involving
raids and other activities by Special Forces.

“We did not include them in the report because we were unable to
collect the exact figures for casualties, which takes ti…

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