How NATO copes with protection of Afghan civilians

Photo: EPA
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Late on Wednesday, seven civilians, including six children, were killed in a Nato air strike in Kandahar province in southern Afghanistan, the BBC reported.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai strongly condemned the bombing. The Nato-led International Security Assistance Force (Isaf) said it has begun a high level inquiry into the “unfortunate incident” and would also undertake a join assessment with Afghan authorities. Isaf commander Gen John Allen said: “Protecting the Afghan civilian population is central to our mission here in Afghanistan and we will investigate this situation fully to determine exactly what took place and whether any further actions need to be taken.”

First civilian casualties were reported in Afghanistan before the US and NATO-led invasion into the country in 2001, and the situation has not changed for the better since then. In 2011 the death toll among civilians has risen by 15% on the year, and in Jan-Jun was reported at 1462. These are “unfortunate incidents”, indeed.

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