Afghani civilians are facing the deadliest period since the U.S. led invasion began more than nine years ago. According to the Afghanistan Rights Monitor at least 2,421 civilians were killed in Afghanistan last year, and more than 3,270 civilians were injured in conflict-related security incidents. This means everyday 6-7 noncombatants were killed and 8-9 were wounded in the war.
In addition to the casualties, hundreds of thousands of people were affected in various ways by the intensified armed violence in 2010. Tens of thousands were forced from their homes, or deprived of healthcare and education services and livelihood opportunities due to war.
Armed Opposition Groups were blamed for 63 percent of the total reported civilian deaths, US/NATO forces for 21 percent, pro-government Afghan forces 12 percent, and about 4 percent could not be attributed to an identifiable armed group and labeled “unknown” in the report. Improvised Explosive Devices were the most lethal tools, which killed over 690 civilians and wounded more than 1,800. At least 217 noncombatants died in air strikes and 192 killed in direct/indirect shooting by US/NATO forces in 2010.
The report criticizes Armed Opposition Groups for deliberately killing and harassing civilians, and US/NATO for targeting and labeling people as “suspected insurgents.” The report also highlights concerns over stockpiles and the possible use of illegal cluster munitions by US/NATO forces. These record levels of violence in Afghanistan have catastrophic impacts on civilian Afghan communities.
Title: Afghan Civilian Killings at Record Level
Author/Source: Democracy Now! 2/28/2011
Title: Afghan Civilian Deaths Hit Record Levels in 2010
Author: Amanda Terkel
Source: The Huffington Post 2/1/2011
Title: ARM Annual Report Civilian Casualties of War January-December 2010
Author/Source: Afghanistan Rights Monitor 2/1/2011
Student Researcher: Amy Ortiz, Sonoma State University
Faculty Evaluator: Professor Jim Preston, Sonoma State University