July 12th, 2010
01:56 PM ET

Report: Afghan civilian deaths up

Kabul, Afghanistan (CNN) - Nearly six Afghan civilians a day were killed and eight wounded in "conflict-related incidents" through the first half of 2010, the Afghanistan Rights Monitor watchdog group said in a report Monday.

In total, 1,074 civilians were killed and more than 1,500 injured in armed violence, the group said. The totals represent a 1.3 percent increase compared to the same period last year.

More than 60 percent of the deaths, or 661 civilians, were attributed to "insurgent groups who showed little or no respect to the safety and protection of non-combatants," the report said. Improvised explosive devices killed 282 civilians, making it by far the deadliest "war activity." Suicide attacks were the next-deadliest, killing 127 civilians in the first six months of 2010.

Civilians killed by U.S. and NATO forces "reduced considerably" to 210 during the period because of restrictions imposed on the use of airstrikes, according to the report. Deaths in airstrikes dropped by more than 50 percent to 94, the group said. Other measures initiated by Gen. Stanley McChrystal, former top commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan, were also seen as helpful in reducing civilian casualties.

But "indiscriminate and allegedly deliberate shooting by US/NATO soldiers on civilian people and cars - the so-called 'escalation of force incidents' - resulted in 30 unwanted deaths and dozens of injuries," the report said. Dozens of civilians were also shot dead during raids, intrusions and other counterinsurgency measures by troops.

Meanwhile, 108 civilians were killed by the pro-government Afghan army, police and militia, the group said, and blamed Afghan forces for "excessive use of military power ... Local gunmen and militias hired by the government and U.S. military operated in a murky legal environment and committed crimes in a virtual state of impunity."

But the report offers a bleak assessment of the Afghan war, saying that in terms of insecurity in the nation, 2010 "has been the worst year since the demise of the Taliban regime in late 2001."

"The world's biggest and most deadly war machineries have failed to rid Afghanistan of subversive elements and allow Afghans to breathe in a sense of peace," the group said. "The failure has damaged US/NATO's credibility among Afghans and has contributed to (the) Taliban's propaganda that they are at the point of defeating a world superpower ... It will be a miracle to win the war against the insurgents and restore a viable peace in Afghanistan with the existing Afghan leadership and government."

An increase in U.S. and NATO forces, the report said, has been attributed as "the last push before exit," which emboldens insurgents.

There was no immediate reaction from the U.S. military to the report. At his confirmation hearing last month, Gen. David Petraeus, who replaced McChrystal, told U.S. senators the July 2011 withdrawal date for troops "will mark the beginning of a process, not the date when the U.S. heads for the exits and turns out the lights."

Petraeus also repeated a pledge to review strict rules of engagement designed to minimize civilian casualties. The rules have been criticized by some observers as increasing the level of risk to U.S. soldiers.

I am "keenly aware of concerns by some of our troops on the ground about the application of our rules of engagement and the tactical directive," Petraeus said. "They should know that I will look very hard at this issue."

Saying the number of civilians killed, wounded and affected by improvised explosive devices is "alarming" the group called on all parties involved - insurgents, the Afghan government and U.S. and NATO forces - "to stop, or at least reduce and control, their productions and indiscriminate use."

Conflict-related instability also affects civilian communities by disrupting or blocking services such as health, education and humanitarian and development assistance. "As conflict intensifies, the government and its foreign supporters must enhance activities to meet the needs of conflict-affected communities," the organization said.

Petraeus said last month that "recent months in Afghanistan have seen tough fighting and tough casualties." But "this was expected," he asserted. "The going inevitably gets tougher before it gets easier when a counterinsurgency operation tries to reverse insurgent momentum."

"My sense is that the tough fighting will continue," he warned. "Indeed, it may get more intense in the next few months. As we take away the enemy's safe havens and reduce the enemy's freedom of action, the insurgents will fight back."

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Filed under: Civilian deaths
soundoff (68 Responses)
  1. Dianne -- Connecticut

    There we plenty of civilians killed on 9/11but now we're supposed to care about the Afghan civilians even though they are related to to Taliban!!

    July 14, 2010 at 7:08 pm | Report abuse |
  2. KEVIN

    HOW ABOUT THE MOST STAND UP AND FIGHT THE FEW...PROBLEM SOLVED

    July 14, 2010 at 11:44 am | Report abuse |
  3. KEVIN

    I DONT SEE HOW THIS ISSUE BOTHERS ANYONE. IF WE REALLY WANTED TO WIN THIS WAR WE WOULD ADOPT THE TACTICS USED DURING WW2. CUT OFF THE WATER/FOOD/ELECTRICTY. PROTECT THE BORDERS SO NO ONE CAN LEAVE. THAN BOMB THE COUNTRY UNTIL EVERYONE SURRENDERS OR IS KILLED. THE WAR WOULD BE OVER BY KNOW IF WE DID IT THAT WHY. CIVILIANS BEING KILLED IS PART OF WAR, AND THATS WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU LET A RADICAL GROUP TAKE OVER YOUR COUNTRY.

    July 14, 2010 at 11:28 am | Report abuse |
    • Onesmallvoice

      Why are you so callous,Kevin?Have you no sense of decency,whatsoever or any shame?I simply don't understand you people.

      July 14, 2010 at 12:02 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Dianne -- Connecticut

    There are some real idiots posting here! The civilian deaths are up and that's tragic. Even more tragic is that are troop deaths are also up. There is no end in sight for this senseless war.

    July 13, 2010 at 9:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • KEVIN

      I'LL TELL YOU WHAT TRAGIC. HOW PEOPLE LIKE YOU POST ON HERE WHEN YOU HAVE NO IDEA WHAT ITS LIKE OVER THERE OR WHATS GOING ON OTHER THAN WHAT YOU SEE ON THE NEWS. GO EDUCATE YOURSELF.

      July 14, 2010 at 11:45 am | Report abuse |
      • Tom Posey

        You need to do the same,Kevin.

        July 14, 2010 at 11:58 am | Report abuse |
  5. Onesmallvoice

    Who cares what you think. Go ahead and get sick. I really don't like the illiterate nomad muslims any way.

    July 13, 2010 at 9:16 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Onesmallvoice

    I dont care about them either!

    July 13, 2010 at 6:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • Onesmallvoice

      But I do,Funny boy.Why do you insist on belittling this country and disgracing it?It's starting to make me sick,so please stop it,will you???

      July 13, 2010 at 8:15 pm | Report abuse |
  7. David Entrich, Portland, Me

    So What. Who cares about the civilians?

    July 13, 2010 at 6:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • Onesmallvoice

      Have you absolutely no decency in you,whatsoever???I suppose not.

      July 13, 2010 at 8:18 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Georgia Goad

    Bo, just read your comment. Everything you said was plainly put so everyone could understand it. You are right, our soldiers are not cops, thank you for pointing that out. They aren't able to act as "protectors" of civilians put in harm's way by their own people. You can't tell the difference of friend or foe most of the time. Sure wish there was a true and tried way to do that. Any ideas out there?

    July 13, 2010 at 4:28 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Smith in Oregon

    This is 'success' and 'winning the hearts and minds of the Afghanistan people'? Propping up a dictator (Hamid Karzai) whose clan appears to be bent on flooding the world with their Opium and Heroin. Is that worth the blood, sweat, tears and lives of the American and NATO soldiers along with 1 Trillion American taxpayer dollars?

    July 13, 2010 at 2:21 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Cyrus Howell

    30,000 Americans are killed on our streets and roadways every six months.
    Some of them actually had college educations and were contributing members of society with jobs.

    July 13, 2010 at 11:13 am | Report abuse |
  11. Keith VanZandt

    Let the Taliban back in and when they start indiscriminatley killing women children and men then lets see who starts whining that we aren't there to protect them.

    July 13, 2010 at 1:47 am | Report abuse |
  12. KBinMN

    During the D-Day invasion and the subsequent Battle of Normandy, somewhere between 15, 000 to 20,000 French civilians were killed by Allied forces mostly due to bombing raids on German positions. Should the Allies not have invaded France due to the resulting high number of civilian casualties?

    July 12, 2010 at 9:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • KEVIN

      YOUR DUMB....THERES NOTHING RACIST ABOUT THAT

      July 14, 2010 at 11:30 am | Report abuse |
  13. wcnea567

    I am sure there are many so called civilian killed by US or NATO or Afgan troops were indeed members of the Taliban. They are not in uniform of any kind. How can they really tell? The real civilians are forced by members of the Taliban to claim those killed were civilians.

    July 12, 2010 at 8:53 pm | Report abuse |
  14. james

    These wars are no longer working for most middle class Americans. They are either jobless, or working in two low paid jobs, or in fear of their jobs being exported to India. Since we have exported millions of good jobs to India and China, let India and China take up this war. This is in their backyard.

    July 12, 2010 at 8:44 pm | Report abuse |
  15. BUBBA -- ALABAMA STYLE!!!

    No Alan,
    Remove all the troops. Leave the civilians. Their illiterate and they'll be in a much better place. We can call them all martyrs. LOL

    July 12, 2010 at 7:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • BUBBA--ALABAMA STYLE!!!

      First you use my name and now you belittle and show your utter contempt for this country.Are you totally devoid of shame,Funny boy?

      July 12, 2010 at 10:07 pm | Report abuse |
  16. Alan

    I have a solution remove all civilians women and children from the country kill everyone thats left problem solved

    July 12, 2010 at 7:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • Alan

      yea your right we are but I meant move temporiarlly then after business is taken care of they can go home and not be afraid of roadside bombs and suicide bombers and as for the illegal alien problem Guess where alot of these mulims like to live yep you guessed it the good ole USA time to change that too

      July 12, 2010 at 8:01 pm | Report abuse |
  17. BUBBA -- ALABAMA STYLE!!!

    I agree with the NUKE idea. If we had done that right after 9/11 the radiation would be down to livable limit by now.

    July 12, 2010 at 7:46 pm | Report abuse |
  18. Onesmallvoice

    Jesse Cook
    Learn to read. How is my post belittling the US???

    July 12, 2010 at 7:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ernie Beatty

      Because you're always doing it under somebody's name,Funny boy.You may think you're funny,but you're not nor are you very cleaver but just a right-wing jerk.

      July 12, 2010 at 9:59 pm | Report abuse |
      • BUBBA--ALABAMA STYLE!!!

        Just look at the following where you can see that this jerk just blooged in under my name,Ernie.How did you figure that out?

        July 12, 2010 at 10:03 pm | Report abuse |
  19. Guy

    Civilian deaths will increase under this new general. He's an idiot who relies heavily on air strikes.

    July 12, 2010 at 7:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • BrontoRex

      Do you even know who the new general is or anything about him? Stop spouting ignorance.

      July 12, 2010 at 8:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • KEVIN

      THERES NOTHING WRONG WITH AIRSTRIKES. THE MORE THE BETTER.

      July 14, 2010 at 11:32 am | Report abuse |
      • Tom Posey

        How would you like to be on the receiving end of them,you right-wing idiot?No wonder they call ours a sick society!!!

        July 14, 2010 at 11:55 am | Report abuse |
  20. Afghan guy

    The US has no business attacking other countries. Stop you warmongering and get out. idiots.

    July 12, 2010 at 7:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • Flush1

      We're coming for you.

      July 12, 2010 at 7:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • Alan

      if you want us out take care of your country and we won't have to come over there and wipe your noses, trouble with Afghans is their yellow bellied and won't stand up against the low life taliban trash

      July 12, 2010 at 7:50 pm | Report abuse |
  21. Flush1

    Killem all. I'll sortem out.

    July 12, 2010 at 7:00 pm | Report abuse |
  22. Guardian

    No nation in history has ever controlled Afghanistan; what makes anyone think that America can? America went there to kill Osama Bin Laden and got side tracked with the Taliban. What a mess.

    July 12, 2010 at 6:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • KBinMN

      I beleive the stated reasons for attacking Afganistan was not only to kill Osama Bin Laden but also to remove the Taliban from power for sheltering Osama and for their oppresion of the Afgan people.

      July 12, 2010 at 6:46 pm | Report abuse |
      • Ernie Beatty

        You forgot to mention the building of our glorious empire.

        July 12, 2010 at 7:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • Alan

      Yea we did even thou we never caught Osama bin laden (if he's still kicking) if a 9/11 attack ever happens and we trace it to afghanistan it will make this occupation look like a playday in the park

      July 12, 2010 at 7:54 pm | Report abuse |
  23. CGeorgeK

    When you mix politics and war, you get, "police action". Since when did the American Taxpayer sign up to fund
    "The World Police" – even if there are Americans so backward as to fear other religions, cultures, societies, ways of life – and who may desire to wipe out everything but their way of life – they should have sense enough to realize we cannot afford it. We are a nation on the edge of failing... and, the alternatives could be worse... getting into deeper debt to foreign countries – is the same as allowing the invasion of illegals in through our Southern border – only in an
    economic way rather than a population way.

    July 12, 2010 at 6:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • KEVIN

      YOU SIGNED UP TO FUND "THE WORLD POLICE" WHEN YOU BECOME A CITIZEN. LEAVE THE COUNTRY IF YOU DONT LIKE IT.

      July 14, 2010 at 11:37 am | Report abuse |
      • Rob

        Your assertion that those who disagree with current foreign policy leave the country altogether illustrates how small your mind is.

        July 15, 2010 at 4:37 am | Report abuse |
  24. Bo

    In a fight, how is anyone to know the diffrence in a Civ. vis the enemy?? They all dress the same? As far as I am concerned we can handle Afghan, without OUR people on the ground. There is NO reason to have our tropps over there. Plus the US Army is CHARGING our soldiers with crimes now if civ. are killed..... We have many of our troops in prison right now for doing their jobs. OUR troops are NOT cops, they are SOLDIERS.... Soldiers fight wars!! In wars PEOPLE DIE........ HELLO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Stop charging them with Crimes, if you dont want soldiers killing people BRING THEM HOME!!!!

    July 12, 2010 at 5:45 pm | Report abuse |
  25. monica

    common this whole war is about the trillions of $$$$ they found in natural resources....plain and simple...and dont run away from the truth...and make yourself look like the WORLDS SUPER HERO...

    July 12, 2010 at 4:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • andy

      Monica are you really that lame. They just discover those resources.

      July 12, 2010 at 4:51 pm | Report abuse |
      • smart

        andy your a fool....they knew about the natural resources before they stepped foot into afghanistan....fools like you annoy me....ewwww....

        July 12, 2010 at 4:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • john3/12

      nice, and you're telling us to wake up?

      July 12, 2010 at 6:40 pm | Report abuse |
      • john3/12

        roger that....look at all the minerals (resources) we've pulled out of Afghanistan to date. Well said, Monica. The future of our world is in good hands. Bravo, thanks for your insightful comments.
        FACT: We've spent more on the War in Afghanistan than all the estimated mineral reserves combined!!!

        July 12, 2010 at 6:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • KBinMN

      And I suppose the attacks in Uganda were also somehow the fault of American Imperialism?

      July 12, 2010 at 6:43 pm | Report abuse |
      • Daniel-2

        Were they not??? Get serious!

        July 12, 2010 at 7:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • Daniel-2

      Good posting,monica.You said it all.

      July 12, 2010 at 7:11 pm | Report abuse |
  26. salayem

    Civilians killed by U.S. and NATO forces "reduced considerably" to 210 only?. Great accomplishment.

    July 12, 2010 at 4:46 pm | Report abuse |
  27. Onesmallvoice

    How about if we pull out all our troops and NUKE that area. The Taliban would be gone for sure.

    July 12, 2010 at 4:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jesse Cook

      Hey,Onesmallvoice.Where do you come off belittling and disrespecting the U.S.?Have you no shame at all?

      July 12, 2010 at 7:08 pm | Report abuse |
  28. Nate

    It also says "pro-government" Afghan Army, Police, and Militia....ha.

    July 12, 2010 at 4:02 pm | Report abuse |
  29. relians

    when will we wake up, grow up and realize that religion is the greatest evil on our planet?

    July 12, 2010 at 4:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • john3/12

      Amen!!!

      July 12, 2010 at 6:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mavent

      Funny, I always thought it was blindly hostile a$sholes like you who were the greatest threat to the planet.

      July 13, 2010 at 1:36 am | Report abuse |
  30. andy

    War is hell and Afghanistan should be terraformed, it is and has always been a country with no redeeming value

    July 12, 2010 at 4:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • john3/12

      don't forget the $1T mineral reserve

      July 12, 2010 at 6:38 pm | Report abuse |
  31. Gary Johndro

    Isn't everybody afraid that these reports might make NATO look bad?Who cares how evil NATO is as long as we achieve our victory over Islam and build our empire?I sure don't!!!

    July 12, 2010 at 3:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • Daniel-2

      Come on,Johndro,have you no sense of decency at all??? I suppose not.

      July 12, 2010 at 4:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • Moufassa

      Johndro,
      If you label this war against Islam, sure we will be defeated, then we will all carep. Do not risk our soldiers by irresponsible comments. You repeat what Al Quaida tries to label this war.

      July 13, 2010 at 1:02 am | Report abuse |
  32. Chut Pata

    @Insan Mukmin. Do not forget that these statistics are compiled by us. Maybe Taliban statistics say they are 40% evil and we are 60% evil. LOL.

    July 12, 2010 at 2:44 pm | Report abuse |
  33. Insan Mukmin

    The short of it is Al-Qaeda killed 282 civilians and NATO and the US killed 210 civilians. NATO and the US must be congratulated for not killing as many civilians meaning they are only 40% evil while Al-Qaeda is 60% evil. Al-Qaeda is 20% more evil than NATO and the US. So what is the purpose of this news report?

    July 12, 2010 at 2:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • worried

      No it says "(661) civilians, were attributed to "insurgent groups who showed little or no respect to the safety and protection of non-combatants," the report said. Improvised explosive devices killed *282* civilians, making it by far the deadliest "war activity." Suicide attacks were the next-deadliest, killing 127 civilians in the first six months of 2010."

      July 12, 2010 at 3:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • john

      Ridiculous. We are not over there to protect Afghanistan. Our job is to protect the United States. The majority of these civilians are killed by the Afghan Army. How many civilians would die during another Afghan civil war... a lot more than 290

      July 12, 2010 at 3:10 pm | Report abuse |