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Jul. 14 2009 - 9:44 am | 20 views | 0 recommendations | 1 comment

UN: Insurgents Kill More Afghans Than Coalition Does

(photo by Independant, UK)

A little girl in hospital after Farah is bombed by US (photo by Independant, UK)

If you’re someone who only reads about Afghanistan from afar, you might think that most civilian casualties come from US or coalition airstrikes.

There have been many of these tragic mistakes lately, from Farah to the leveling of civilian homes in Shindand back in ‘07. Last year, civilian deaths from US airstrikes nearly doubled, according to this report by Human Rights Watch.

Even here in Afghanistan, the average man or woman on the street will tell you that airstrikes are their greatest concern.

I was in the park the other day, chatting with Abdul Rahab, a retired police officer. He told me that, “More than the Taliban, I am worried about US bombings over residential areas.”

Well I wish I’d read this report from the UN before talking to him…

According to the UN, the Taliban kill far more civilians than US airstrikes do. The report sites this bombing in Logar, which killed 25 people altogether, at least a dozen of whom were children.

Insurgents also purposely target schools. According to UNICEF, insurgents have launched “direct attacks by small arms and rockets, arson, and threats,” on schools in Afghanistan.

I’m not saying that US and coalition forces don’t make horrific, deadly, wasteful mistakes. I just think that the perception of those mistakes, when compared to what insurgents do, is out of whack on the Afghan street.


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    About Me

    I’m a writer and reporter living in Kabul, Afghanistan. For the past four years I’ve been an investigative reporter at various Village Voice Media weeklies, and before that I worked on documentary films in New York City.

    I am currently a journalism mentor and news editor for The Killid Group, a not-for-profit radio and print organization based in Kabul, with five radio stations and many bureaus throughout Afghanistan.

    My writing has appeared in The Washington Post, Philadelphia Inquirer, Christian Science Monitor, Village Voice, Modern Drunkard and other fine publications.

    Originally from Philadelphia, I’ve also worked in south Florida and Nashville, Tennessee.

    See my profile »
    Followers: 165
    Contributor Since: June 2009
    Location:Kabul, Afghanistan