Lahore, Sep 9 : Civilian deaths in US and NATO air strikes in Afghanistan have nearly tripled between 2006 and 2007 with new deadly strikes fuelling a public backlash, the Human Rights Watch (HRW) has said.
According to AAJ TV, foreign forces were guilty of causing civilian deaths by using civilians as 'human shields', by deploying troops in villages, the rights group said in a report.
"Mistakes by the US and NATO have dramatically decreased public support for the Afghan government and the international forces (in the country)," a statement accompanying the report said.
The watchdog accused US officials in particular of a "poor response" to civilian deaths, saying that the US military often immediately denied responsibility or placed all blame on the Taliban.
Compensation payouts to survivors or victims' heirs were not timely or adequate, the Daily Times quoted the HRW report, as saying.