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UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on Wednesday defended actions by international forces in Afghanistan, saying that insurgents were responsible for 78 per cent of civilian deaths. His comment followed a briefing by the UN Afghan mission's chief, Kai Eide, who earlier indicated that international troops were not doing enough to protect civilians in the conflict with Taliban and al-Qaeda terrorists.
Figures released to AFP by the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) put civilian deaths in the Afghan war at 2,038 for the first 10 months of 2009, up from 1,838 for the same period of 2008 -- an increase of 10.8 percent.
The UN calculations show the vast majority, or 1,404 civilians, were killed by insurgents fighting for the overthrow of Karzai's government and to eject Western troops.
UNAMA said 468 deaths were caused by pro-government forces, including NATO and US-led forces, and 166 by "other actors".
Civilian deaths at the hands of foreign forces fuel distrust between the Afghan population, the government and US and NATO troops, even though most of the deaths are caused by insurgent tactics such as homemade bombs.
To give you a taste of how it goes as example, if a person is seen putting a IED in the road by a drone and then walks away the troops cannot do a thing to him.
The Times compiled an informal list of the new rules from interviews with U.S. forces. Among them:
• No night or surprise searches.
• Villagers have to be warned prior to searches.
• ANA or ANP must accompany U.S. units on searches.
• U.S. soldiers may not fire at the enemy unless the enemy is preparing to fire first.
• U.S. forces cannot engage the enemy if civilians are present.
• Only women can search women.
• Troops can fire at an insurgent if they catch him placing an IED but not if insurgents are walking away from an area where explosives have been laid