Friday Mar 18, 201110:19 PM GMT
UN report favored US by underestimating Afghan deaths
Fri Mar 18, 2011 10:19PM
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American Investigative Journalist, Gareth Porter has questioned a recent report by the United Nations which claims that only 80 Afghan civilians were killed last year in U.S. military operations in Afghanistan.


Mr. Porter told Press TV's U.S. Desk on Friday that the report "favored the United States" by "underestimating vastly the number of deaths" caused by the American military raids.


He continued, "And we know that in the case of the data having to do with the day with regards to the civilian casualties in Afghanistan that the United Nations did not really use the same criteria to try to estimate the number of civilian casualties in night raids carried out by the Special Operations Forces of the United States and to estimate the number of deaths inflicted by assassination on the Taliban side or on the side of the Afghan insurgents."


Porter went on to add, "We know this because one of the commissioners of the Independent Afghanistan Human Rights Commission [Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission AIHRC] Nader Nadery told Inter Press Service (IPS) that there were actually a total 73 incidents in which local people complained about civilian casualties in Special Operations Forces raids."


Porter concluded, "But in fact the UN report only tallied the numbers of civilian deaths from 13 of those 73 cases and that's because the investigation was only carried out on 13 of those instances. The other 60 were not sufficiently investigated according to Nader Nadery to be able to include the data in the UN report. However that was not made clear in the report that only a fraction, a very small fraction of the total number of complaints were in fact included in the tally of the Special Operations Forces civilian casualties."



2010 was the deadliest year yet for civilians in the Afghan war with 2,777 killed, a 15 percent jump in the death toll, the UN has said in a report.


Large numbers of children and women were among the dead -- 1,175 and 555 respectively.


The Afghanistan war was not authorized by the United Nations Security Council and many experts call it illegal under international law.


Nearly two-thirds of Americans are saying the conflict is not worth fighting, according to a new ABC News/Washington Post poll.


The U.S. government is currently spending around $120 billion a year on the war in Afghanistan and saw more casualties in 2010 than in any year since the war started in 2001. WSJ






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