November 9th, 2010
12:06 PM ET

ISAF: Insurgents killed more than 100 civilians last month

The NATO-led command in Afghanistan said insurgent fighters were responsible for scores of civilian casualties in October - more than 100 deaths and 200 injuries.

NATO's International Security Assistance Force, which has been staunchly criticized by Afghans over the years for civilian casualties during the war, said the latest violence belies senior Taliban claims that the insurgents have protected civilians.

"The insurgency continues to exhibit striking hypocrisy between their stated objective to protect civilian lives and their actions throughout Afghanistan," Rear Adm. Vic Beck, ISAF spokesman, said Tuesday.

"Their message simply does not match the reality that every day, insurgents are deliberately killing, injuring and intimidating Afghan civilians."

ISAF breaks down the incidents in four categories.

There were 150 examples of "indiscriminate violence," such as roadside bombs and small arms and indirect fire, and 75 examples of "anti-development" incidents, such as attacks on convoys, workers, and bombs set off near a truck and under a bridge.

There were 45 examples of the "imposition of extremist ideology." They include using a mosque as a firing point and deploying children as human shields. Other examples are assassinations in mosques, police kidnappings, bombings in and around schools, and school closings.

Then there were 21 "oppressive practices," such as threatening elders who cooperate with ISAF, tax collection, illegal check points, fining instructors who teach western courses of study, and placing bombs in compounds. Another is intimidation of lawyers not to represent Uzbeks in a land dispute.

ISAF cited as examples the assassination of a trucker in Kunar province on October 1, the deaths of eight children and the wounding of 23 civilians in IED attacks near a police checkpoint on October 5 in Kandahar province, the assassination of two religious leaders in mosques on October 4 and 10, also in Kandahar province; and the killing of 10 Afghan civilians in Nimruz province on October 19. Nimruz is in the country's southwest.

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