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Civilian casualties resulting from Afghanistan's war have spiked, jumping some 24 percent above figures from last year, the United Nations reported Friday.
The Human Rights Unit of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan announced it recorded 1,013 civilian deaths in Afghanistan during the first six months of this year. That compares to 818 Afghan civilians who were killed during the same period in 2008, while 684 civilians were killed during the first half of 2007.
Western military airstrikes killed 30.5 percent of the civilians.
The report concluded that Taliban insurgents are "basing themselves in civilian areas so as to deliberately blur the distinction between combatants and civilians, and as part of what appears to be an active policy aimed at drawing a military response to areas where there is a high likelihood that civilians will be killed."
Meanwhile, the UN noted that NATO forces have redrafted their tactical directives, in an effort to reduce civilian casualties.