Taliban, Afghan insurgents responsible for rise in civilian deaths

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Washington, Aug 12 (ANI): A United Nations report has revealed that Taliban militants are largely responsible for a rise in civilian deaths and injuries, dealing a major blow to insurgents in Afghanistan's crucial public relations war this week.

The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan released a report on Tuesday saying that number of Afghan casualties has increased 31 percent in 2010 compared to the same time period in 2009.

"Three quarters of all civilian casualties were linked to Anti-Government Elements (AGEs), an increase of 53 percent from 2009," FOX News quoted the report, as saying.

It says that the US and NATO forces under strict guidelines to minimize the frequency of air strikes have curbed civilian deaths by 64 percent.

The increase in death and injury among Afghan civilians is due in large part to hidden roadside bombs, improvised explosive devices, and suicide bombing missions conducted by the Taliban and other insurgent forces.

The insurgents in the last two days have attacked civilians four times in Afghanistan. On Wednesday two suicide bombers accidentally detonated their vests in a mosque, and on Tuesday two separate roadside bombings killed three Afghan civilians and wounded three others.

The commander of US and International forces in Afghanistan, General David Petraeus, highlighted the importance of reducing civilian deaths in his recently updated tactical directive to troops. "Every Afghan death diminishes our cause," he wrote. (ANI)

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