Civilian casualties of the War in Afghanistan (2001–present): Wikis

  

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The War in Afghanistan (2001–present) has caused the deaths of thousands of Afghan civilians directly from insurgent and foreign military action, as well as the deaths of possibly tens of thousands of Afghan civilians indirectly as a consequence of displacement, starvation, disease, exposure, lack of medical treatment, crime and lawlessness resulting from the war. The war, launched by the United States as "Operation Enduring Freedom" in 2001, began with an initial air campaign that almost immediately prompted concerns over the number of Afghan civilians being killed[1] as well as international protests. With civilian deaths from airstrikes rising again in recent years[2], the number of Afghan civilians being killed by foreign military operations has led to mounting tension between the foreign countries and the government of Afghanistan. In May 2007, President Hamid Karzai summoned military commanders to warn them of the consequences of further deaths.[3]

Contents

Estimates

There is no single official figure for the overall number of civilians killed by the war since 2001, but estimates for specific years or periods have been published by a number of independent organizations and are presented here.

Aggregation of estimates

Year Civilians killed as a result of insurgent actions Civilians killed as a result of U.S-led military actions Civilians killed as a result of the war
2001 n/a
  • The Project on Defense Alternatives estimated that in a 3-month period between October 7, 2001 and January 1, 2002, at least 1,000-1,300 civilians were directly killed by the U.S.-led aerial bombing campaign[4], and that by mid-January 2002, at least 3,200 more Afghans had died of "starvation, exposure, associated illnesses, or injury sustained while in flight from war zones", as a result of the U.S. war and airstrikes.[5]
  • The Los Angeles Times found that in a 5-month period from October 7, 2001 to February 28, 2002, there were between 1,067 and 1,201 civilian deaths from the bombing campaign reported in U.S., British, and Pakistani newspapers and international wire services.[6]
  • A 2002 analysis by The Guardian estimated that as many as 20,000 Afghans died in 2001 as an indirect result of the initial U.S. airstrikes and ground invasion.[7]
  • Professor Marc W. Herold of the University of New Hampshire estimated that in the 20-month period between October 7, 2001 and June 3, 2003, at least 3,100 to 3,600 civilians were directly killed by U.S.-led forces.[8]
  • 2001-2003 direct deaths: at least 3,100 to 3,600
  • 2001-2003 indirect deaths: at least 3,200 - 20,000
  • 2001-2003 direct & indirect deaths: 6,300 - 23,600

2001-2003:

  • direct civilian deaths: at least 3,100 to 3,600
  • indirect civilian deaths: at least 3,200 - 20,000
  • direct & indirect civilian deaths: 6,300 - 23,600
2002 n/a
2003 n/a
2004 n/a n/a n/a
2005 n/a
  • Professor Marc W. Herold of the University of New Hampshire estimated at least 408-478 Afghan civilians were directly killed by U.S./NATO actions.[9]
  • direct civilian deaths: at least 408 to 478
  • indirect civilian deaths: n/a
2006
  • Human Rights Watch estimated at least 699 Afghan civilians were killed by various insurgent forces in 2006.[10]
  • Human Rights Watch estimated at least 230 Afghan civilians were killed by US or NATO attacks in 2006: 116 by airstrikes and 114 by ground fire.[11]
  • Professor Marc W. Herold of the University of New Hampshire estimated at least 653-769 Afghan civilians were directly killed by U.S./NATO actions.[9]
  • Human Rights Watch estimated at least 929 Afghan civilians were killed in fighting related to the armed conflict in 2006.[10] In all, they estimated more than 4,400 Afghans (civilians and militants) were killed in conflict-related violence in 2006, twice as many as in 2005.[12]
  • An Associated Press tally based on reports from NATO, coalition, and Afghan officials, estimated 4,000 Afghans (civilians and militants) were killed in 2006.[12]
  • Indirect civilian deaths: n/a
2007
  • Human Rights Watch estimated that at least 950 Afghan civilians were killed by various insurgent forces in 2007.[10]
  • Human Rights Watch estimated at least 434 Afghan civilians were killed by US or NATO attacks in 2007: 321 by airstrikes and 113 by ground fire. Another 57 civilians were killed in crossfire, and 192 died under unclear circumstances.[11]
  • Professor Marc W. Herold of the University of New Hampshire estimated at least 1,010-1,297 Afghan civilians were directly killed by U.S./NATO actions.[9]
  • Human Rights Watch estimated at least 1,633 Afghan civilians were killed in fighting related to the armed conflict in 2007.[10]
  • Indirect civilian deaths: n/a
2008
  • The Afghanistan Rights Monitor(ARM) estimated that over 2,300 civilians were killed by insurgents in 2008, including 930 in suicide bombings.[16][19]
  • The UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) reported that 828 Afghan civilians had been killed by international-led military forces in 2008, accounting for 39% of the civilian deaths. Air-strikes accounted for the largest proportion of this number, 64%, with 552 civilians killed as a result of U.S./NATO airstrikes.[17][18]
  • According to Afghanistan's ambassador to Australia, Amanullah Jayhoon, 1,000 Afghan civilians were killed by coalition forces in 2008.[20]
  • The Afghanistan Rights Monitor(ARM) estimated that over 1,620 civilians were killed by U.S.-led military forces in 2008, including 680 killed in airstrikes. ARM also estimated that military operations by US-led NATO and coalition forces caused at least 2,800 injuries and displaced 80,000 people from their homes.[16][19]
  • Professor Marc W. Herold of the University of New Hampshire estimated at least 864-1,017 Afghan civilians were directly killed by U.S./NATO foreign forces in 2008.[21]
  • The Afghanistan Rights Monitor (ARM) estimated that in 2008 around 3,917 civilians were killed, over 6,800 were wounded, and around 120,000 were forced out of their homes.[16][19]
  • Indirect civilian deaths: n/a
2009
  • The UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) attributed 1,630 Afghan civilian deaths as having been caused by anti-government elements in 2009, representing two-thirds of the 2,412 Afghan civilian deaths it recorded in the American-led war in 2009.[23][24]
  • The UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) attributed 596 Afghan civilian deaths as having been caused by international-led military forces in 2009, representing about a quarter of the 2,412 Afghan civilian deaths it recorded as having been caused by the war in 2009.[23][24]
  • The UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) recorded 2,412 Afghan civilian deaths in the American-led war in 2009, representing a jump of 14% over the number killed in 2008. In 186 (8%) of the deaths, UNAMA was unable to clearly attribute the cause to any one side.[23][24]
  • Indirect civilian deaths: n/a
2010 n/a n/a n/a
2011 n/a n/a n/a
Total[25]
  • direct deaths: at least 4,029 - 5,579
  • direct deaths: at least 5,568 - 8,360
  • indirect deaths in initial invasion: 3,200 - 20,000
  • direct & indirect deaths: 8,768 - 28,360
  • direct deaths: at least 10,172 - 12,969
  • indirect deaths: 3,200 - 20,000
  • direct & indirect deaths: 13,372 - 32,969
  • indirect deaths after initial invasion: n/a
Year Civilians killed as a result of insurgent actions

(Total of available estimates, lower - upper)

Civilians killed as a result of U.S-led military actions

(Total of available estimates, lower - upper)

Civilians killed as a result of the war

(Total of available estimates, lower - upper)

Civilian casualties (2001-2003)

According to Marc W. Herold's extensive database, Dossier on Civilian Victims of United States' Aerial Bombing, between 3,100 and 3,600 civilians were directly killed by U.S. Operation Enduring Freedom bombing and Special Forces attacks between October 7, 2001 and June 3, 2003. This estimate counts only "impact deaths" - deaths that occurred in the immediate aftermath of an explosion or shooting - and does not count deaths that occurred later as a result of injuries sustained, or deaths that occurred as an indirect consequence of the U.S. airstrikes and invasion.

In an opinion article published in August 2002 in the neoconservative magazine The Weekly Standard, Joshua Muravchik of the American Enterprise Institute, a self-described neoconservative[13], questioned Professor Herold's study entirely on the basis of one single incident that involved 25-93 deaths. He did not provide any estimate his own.[14]

In a pair of January 2002 studies, Carl Conetta of the Project on Defense Alternatives estimates that, at least 4,200-4,500 civilians were killed by mid-January 2002 as a result of the U.S. war and airstrikes, both directly as casualties of the aerial bombing campaign, and indirectly in the humanitarian crisis that the war and airstrikes contributed to.

His first study, "Operation Enduring Freedom: Why a Higher Rate of Civilian Bombing Casualties?", released January 18, 2002, estimates that, at the low end, at least 1,000-1,300 civilians were directly killed in the aerial bombing campaign in just the 3 months between October 7, 2001 to January 1, 2002. The author found it impossible to provide an upper-end estimate to direct civilian casualties from the Operation Enduring Freedom bombing campaign that he noted as having an increased use of cluster bombs[15]. In this lower-end estimate, only Western press sources were used for hard numbers, while heavy "reduction factors" were applied to Afghan government reports so that their estimates were reduced by as much as 75%[16].

In his companion study, "Strange Victory: A critical appraisal of Operation Enduring Freedom and the Afghanistan war", released January 30, 2002, Conetta estimates that at least 3,200 more Afghans died by mid-January 2002, of "starvation, exposure, associated illnesses, or injury sustained while in flight from war zones", as a result of the U.S. war and airstrikes.

In similar numbers, a Los Angeles Times review of U.S., British, and Pakistani newspapers and international wire services found that between 1,067 and 1,201 direct civilian deaths were reported by those news organizations during the five months from October 7, 2001 to February 28, 2002. This review excluded all civilian deaths in Afghanistan that did not get reported by U.S., British, or Pakistani news, excluded 497 deaths that did get reported in U.S., British, and Pakistani news but that were not specifically identified as civilian or military, and excluded 754 civilian deaths that were reported by the Taliban but not independently confirmed.[17]

According to Jonathan Steele of The Guardian, up to 20,000 Afghans may have died as a consequence of the first four months of U.S. airstrikes on Afghanistan.[18]

Civilian and overall casualties (2005)

An estimated 1,700 people were killed in 2005 according to an Associated Press count, including civilians, insurgents and security forces members.[26][27] Some 600 policemen were killed between Hamid Karzai's election as president of Afghanistan in early December 2004 and mid-May 2005.[28]

Civilian and overall casualties (2006)

A report by Human Rights Watch said that 4,400 Afghans had been killed in 2006, more than 1,000 of them civilians. Some 2,077 militants were killed in Coalition operations between September 1 and December 13.[29]

An Associated Press tally based on reports from Afghan, NATO and coalition officials puts the overall death toll slightly lower, at about 4,000, most of them militants.[30]

More than 1,900 people were killed in the first eight months of the year by the end of August.[31]

Civilian and overall casualties (2007)

More than 7,700 people were killed in 2007, including: 1,019 Afghan policemen[32]; 4,478 militants[33]; 1,980 civilians[34] and 232 foreign soldiers[35].

With by far the most comprehensive research into Afghan civilian casualties[36], Professor Marc W. Herold of the University of New Hampshire estimated in September 2007 that between 5,700 and 6,500 Afghan civilians had been killed so far in the war by American and NATO military forces.[37] He stressed that this was an "absolute minimum" and probably "a vast underestimate" because the figures do not include:

  • the dead among the tens of thousands of Afghans displaced during the initial military operation in 2001-2002, who ended up in refugee camps or elsewhere with little or no supplies for long periods;
  • civilian victims of U.S./NATO bombing in mountainous areas, which have few or no communications links or which the U.S./NATO forces "cordon off as part of news management";
  • and civilians that did not die immediately at the scene but died later of their injuries.

Civilian and overall casualties (2008)

The UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) reported that 2,118 civilians were killed as a result of armed conflict in Afghanistan in 2008, the highest civilian death toll since the end of the initial 2001 invasion. This represents an increase of about 40 percent over UNAMA's figure of 1,523 civilians killed in 2007.[15][17][18][22]

On the other hand, according to NATO forces only about 1,000 civilians were killed during the whole year.[38][39]

Going into further detail, UNAMA reported that out of 2,118 civilian deaths in 2008, 1,160 non-combatants were killed by anti-government forces, accounting for 55% of the 2008 total, while 828 were killed by international-led military forces, accounting for 39% of the 2008 total. The remaining 6% – 130 deaths – could not be attributed to any of the parties since some of them died as a result of crossfire or were killed by unexploded ordnance, for example. Of the civilians killed by anti-government elements, 85% died as a result of suicide or improvised explosive devices. Of the civilians killed by pro-government forces, 64% were killed by U.S./NATO airstrikes.[17][18]

(Note: UNAMA's report includes in its count of civilian/non-combatant deaths any "members of the military who are not being utilized in counter insurgency operations, including when they are off-duty.")[17]

The Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC) estimated the number of civilians killed as a result of the armed hostilities in 2008 at around 1,800, with about 1,000 killed by militant groups and about 800 killed by U.S.-led military forces.[16]

The Afghanistan Rights Monitor(ARM), a Kabul-based rights watchdog, estimated that in 2008 about 3,917 civilians were killed, over 6,800 were wounded, and around 120,000 were forced out of their homes. ARM estimated that insurgents killed over 2,300 civilians, including 930 in suicide bombings, and that U.S.-led military forces killed over 1,620 civilians, with 1,100 civilians killed by U.S.-led NATO and coalition forces and 520 civilians killed by Afghan military forces. Out of these, 680 Afghan civilians killed in air strikes by the US-led forces, with U.S. combat aircraft conducting at least 15,000 close air support missions over the year. Another 2,800 civilians were injured and 80,000 displaced from their homes by the U.S.-led NATO and coalition military operations.[16][19]

According to Afghanistan's ambassador to Australia, Amanullah Jayhoon, 1,000 Afghan civilians were killed by coalition forces in 2008.[20]

Meanwhile, NATO's International Security Assistance Force has said that only just over 200 civilians were mistakenly killed by foreign troops last year.[19]

According to NATO spokesman James Appathurai, 97 civilian deaths were caused by ISAF in 2008, while 987 civilian deaths were caused by militant groups. The number of civilian deaths caused by US-led military forces operating outside of ISAF was not mentioned in that statement.[39][40]

In October 2008, Professor Marc W. Herold of the University of New Hampshire reported that the number of civilians killed in direct action by U.S. and other NATO forces from 2005 up that point in 2008 was at least between 2,699 and 3,273. These figures represent underestimates of the number of Afghan civilians killed because civilians are sometimes labelled militants by the military and because these figures only include civilians that died immediately at the scene and not civilians that died later of their injuries.[36][41]

In 2008, 38 aid workers, almost all from NGO's, were killed, double the number from 2007, and 147 were abducted.[17][18]

According to the Afghanistan Rights Monitor(ARM) more than 1,100 Afghan police and 530 Afghan soldiers lost their lives in 2008.[19]

According to NATO forces, 5,000 militants were killed in 2008.[38]

Civilian and overall casualties (2009)

2009 was again the most lethal year for Afghan civilians in the American-led war since the fall of the Taliban government in late 2001. According to the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), 2,412 civilians were killed by the war in 2009, a jump of 14% over the number that lost their lives in 2008. An additional 3,566 Afghan civilians were wounded as a result of the war in 2009.[24][23]

Of these, UNAMA attributed two-thirds, or 1,630, of the deaths to the action of anti-government forces, around a quarter, 596, of the deaths to action by American-led military forces, and was not able to clearly attribute another 186 civilian deaths to any one side. Airstrikes continued to be the main cause of civilian deaths resulting from US-led military action, with 359 Afghan civilians killed by US/NATO airstrikes in 2009.[24]

In addition to a growing number of Afghan civilians being killed, Afghan populations caught in the eight-year war have also suffered from loss of livelihood, displacement, and the destruction of their homes, property, and personal assets.[24]

In its mid-year report, the UNAMA underlined that "if the non-combatant status of one or more victim(s) remains under significant doubt, such deaths are not included in the overall number of civilian casualties. Thus, there is a significant possibility that UNAMA is under-reporting civilian casualties."[42]

In September 2009, the U.N. reported that August had been the deadliest month of 2009 to date for Afghan civilians as a result of the August 20th election. The U.N. also reported that about 1,500 people were killed from the start of the year through August. The report stated: "August (was) the deadliest month since the beginning of 2009. ... These figures reflect an increasing trend in insecurity over recent months and in elections-related violence." UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) attributed 68% of the deaths to anti-government elements and 23% of the deaths to international-led military forces - most of them in airstrikes. In 9% of the civilian deaths, UNAMA was unable to clearly attribute the cause to any one side of the parties in the conflict. The number of civilians killed represented an increase of 31% over the same period in 2008, when 1,145 civilians were killed.[43]

Afghan protestation of civilian deaths caused by international forces

Afghan President Hamid Karzai's repeated pleas to the foreign military forces

Over the past seven years, the Afghan President Hamid Karzai has repeatedly pleaded with the foreign military forces in his country to stop killing so many Afghan civilians in their operations.[44][45][46][47][48][49]

  • In July 2002, following an American bombing raid in which Afghan officials say 44 people were killed, including many celebrating a wedding and many children, the Afghan president protested to the U.S. military authorities, and urged them to be more careful in their targeting to prevent any more civilian deaths. U.S. President George W. Bush offered his condolences.[50][51]

    "We are not happy. We don't want any more Afghan civilian casualties."

    "This must not occur again."

    "I have asked that from now onwards everything should be closely co-ordinated between the Americans and the central authority of Afghanistan to make sure no such mishaps happen again and I have conveyed this to the Americans."

     
    — Afghan President Hamid Karzai, July 2002[52][53]

    (Senior Afghan officials were furious that it took five days before President Bush telephoned Mr. Karzai to offer sympathy and that Donald Rumsfeld, the US defence secretary, had expressed no remorse or apology.[52][53])

  • In May 2005, Afghan President Hamid Karzai expressed "concern" about the occurrence of civilian deaths by the international military forces in his country, and asked them to exercise "extreme caution" while acting in civilian areas.[54] He insisted that the Afghan government be able to veto U.S. military operations in Afghanistan, promised to correct "mistakes" made by US forces, especially intrusive searches of village homes by American troops, and called for the return of hundreds of Afghan nationals being held prisoner by the U.S. in Cuba at Guantanamo Bay.[55]
  • In September 2005, Afghan President Hamid Karzai questioned the continued use of airstrikes by the U.S.-led military forces in his country. He also asked that the United States stop raiding Afghan houses without authorization from the Afghan government. Both the airstrikes, which have caused many civilian casualties, and the house searches by foreign military troops have grown increasingly unpopular in Afghanistan. This was not the first time the Afghan president has complained about the American military presence. In May his request for some more authority over U.S. military operations in his own country was rejected by President Bush.[56][57]

"I don’t think there is a big need for military activity in Afghanistan anymore. The use of air power is something that may not be very effective now because we have moved forward."

"Similarly, going into the Afghan homes - searching Afghan homes without the authorization of the Afghan government - is something that should stop now."

"No coalition forces should go into Afghan homes without the authorization of the Afghan government."

 
— Afghan President Hamid Karzai, September 2005[57]
  • In May 2006, Afghan President Hamid Karzai summoned the commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan, Lt. Gen. Karl Eikenberry, to demand an explanation in the deaths of at least 16 Afghan civilians during airstrikes at Taliban militants in the south.[58]
  • In December 2006, a tearful President Hamid Karzai lamented that Afghan children were being maimed and killed by NATO and U.S. bombs and by the terrorism brought on by the war. In a heartfelt speech that brought audience members to tears, Karzai said the cruelty imposed on his people "is too much" and that Afghanistan cannot stop "the coalition from killing our children."[59][60]
  • In May 2007, after heavy aerial bombing by the American military had recently killed 40 to 60 Afghan civilians[61], including women and children, wounded about 50 more, and destroyed some 100 houses[62], President Hamid Karzai summoned top foreign generals and diplomats to his palace to reiterate years of complaints over blameless deaths.[45][63]. At a news conference afterward, he said that Afghan lives should be valued too, and the Afghan people could no longer tolerate such casualties:[62]

"Civilian deaths and arbitrary decisions to search people’s houses have reached an unacceptable level and Afghans cannot put up with it any longer."[64]

"Five years on, it is very difficult for us to continue accepting civilian casualties. It is becoming heavy for us; it is not understandable anymore."

"We are very sorry when the international coalition force and NATO soldiers lose their lives or are injured. It pains us. But Afghans are human beings, too."

 
— Afghan President Hamid Karzai, May 2, 2007[62]
  • In June 2007, after the deaths of more than 90 civilians in 10 days[65], President Hamid Karzai accused ISAF and the US-led military coalition in his country of "extreme" and "disproportionate" use of force. In his protestations, the Afghan president said that the foreign military forces in his country had to start working in accordance with his government's wishes.[66][67]

"Afghan life is not cheap and it should not be treated as such."[65]

"Several times in the last year, the Afghan government tried to prevent civilian casualties, but our innocent people are becoming victims of careless operations of NATO and international forces."

 
— Afghan President Hamid Karzai, June 23, 2007[49][68]
  • On October 28, 2007, in an interview on 60 Minutes, Afghan President Hamid Karzai stated that he had explicitly asked U.S. President George W. Bush to roll back the use of airstrikes - which had killed more than 270 civilians in 17 air strikes to date in 2007 alone - in his country, saying that he had delivered the message privately to Bush using "clear words" in August.

"The Afghan people understand that mistakes are made. But five years on, six years on, definitely, very clearly, they cannot comprehend as to why there is still a need for air power."

 
— Afghan President Hamid Karzai, October 28, 2007[69]
  • In August 2008, President Hamid Karzai ordered a review of foreign troops in Afghanistan after his administration said 96 civilians were killed in an air raid by the U.S.-led coalition in western Herat. Already more than 500 civilians had been killed during operations by foreign and Afghan forces in 2008 according to the Afghan government and some aid groups.[70][71]
  • In September 2008, Afghan President Hamid Karzai protested the continued killing of innocent Afghan civilians by the foreign troops in his country when he addressed the United Nations General Assembly's annual gathering of world leaders in New York, and pointed out that it threatens the credibility that the current military situation is a partnership:[72]

"The continuation of civilian casualties can seriously undermine the legitimacy of fighting terrorism and the credibility of the Afghan people's partnership with the international community."

 
— Afghan President Hamid Karzai, September 24, 2008[73]
  • On November 5, 2008, Afghan President Hamid Karzai pleaded U.S. President-elect Barack Obama to put an end to civilian casualties in Afghanistan as villagers said U.S. warplanes bombed a wedding party, killing 37 people, including 23 children and 10 women. Karzai again demanded an immediate end of civilian-killing air strikes by U.S. warplanes, saying:[74]

"Our demand is that there will be no civilian casualties in Afghanistan. We cannot win the fight against terrorism with airstrikes."

"This is my first demand of the new president of the United States - to put an end to civilian casualties."

 
— Afghan President Hamid Karzai, November 5, 2008[74]
  • On December 18, 2008, Afghan President Hamid Karzai again spoke of asking the United States to cooperate with his government in their military operations in his country. In a speech, he said that in the previous month he had again asked that the U.S. military in his country cooperate with his government, sending the U.S. government a list of demands about troop conduct, but did not say if he had received any response back.[48]

"Part of that list was that they shouldn't, on their own, enter the houses of our people and bombard our villages and detain our people."

 
— Afghan President Hamid Karzai, December 18, 2008[48]
  • In April 2009, after American-led military forces killed 5 civilians, including two children and an unborn nine-month-old baby, in a U.S. night raid in Khost province, Afghan President Hamid Karzai ordered his interior and defence ministries, the intelligence service and local government to investigate and present their findings to him. Those killed were the wife, brother, son, and daughter of an Afghan army colonel, as well as the unborn nine-month-old baby of his cousin's wife. Another daughter and his cousin's wife were wounded but survived. In a statement Karzai said that he had "for several years repeatedly asked the international military forces (to) carry out their counter-terrorism operations in ways that do not cause civilian casualties." He reiterated this demand and insisted that foreign forces adhere to a directive signed months ago to fully coordinate their operations with their Afghan counterparts and base them on accurate information.[75][76]

Afghan public protests over civilian deaths

  • On July 4, 2002, in the first anti-American protest since the overthrow of the Taliban, about 200 Afghans marched through the streets of Kabul to express their outrage over attacks by U.S. forces which killed scores of civilians, including many children and 25 members of one family. According to Afghan Foreign Minister Abdullah, 44 people were killed and 120 wounded in the U.S. attacks on about a half dozen villages in Uruzgan province, which villagers said included an attack on a pre-wedding party.[50][51]
  • On May 29, 2006, large-scale rioting, fueled by anti-U.S. anger, swept through Afghanistan's capital, Kabul, after a U.S. military truck crashed into a crowd of Afghan pedestrians. Afghan President Hamid Karzai's office said five people were killed in the vehicle crash. The U.S. military, in a statement issued earlier, had said at least one person was killed in the crash and six wounded, two of them critically. Afghan officials called it the worst day of rioting in Kabul since the overthrow of the Taliban regime. At least 8 people were killed and 109 wounded in the widespread anti-U.S. protests through the capital. Video from one rioting site after the crash showed a U.S. military vehicle firing in the direction of a crowd of Afghans. Dozens of protesters outside the U.S. Embassy screamed "Death to Americans!" while embassy personnel retreated to bunkers. "We want America out of this country! We hate America! They have no responsibility!" said protester Ajmal Jan.[58][77]
  • On April 30, 2007, thousands of Afghans staged a protest accusing USA-led coalition and Afghan troops of killing civilians in the western province of Herat. The protesters stormed a government district headquarters in Shindand, south of Herat city, where Western troops have a large base. The anti-U.S. protest came a day after an angry demonstration in eastern Nangahar province over the killing of civilians by coalition and Afghan forces there.[78]
  • On May 2, 2007, about 500 Afghan university students protested in the eastern province of Nangarhar alleging six civilians had been killed by US-led coalition troops a few days before. On that same day, Afghan and UN teams announced that their investigations had found that around 50 civilians were killed in days of ground fighting and bombing in a remote valley in the western province of Herat.[63]
  • On September 26, 2007, following a raid by foreign troops that left two religious leaders dead, about 500 Afghan protesters shut down the main highway out of Kandahar city with some chanting "Death to Canada" and "Death to foreigners" and calling on foreign troops to leave their country. The protesters accused American and Canadian soldiers of killing the two religious leaders during night raids on houses in Senjaray, a community on the outskirts of Kandahar city. Anger was also directed at Afghan President Hamid Karzai for allowing the foreign military presence in their country.[79]
  • On August 23, 2008, about 250 Afghan villagers gathered in angry demonstration to protest the deaths of 76 civilians, most of them children, killed in U.S.-led airstrikes near the village of Azizabad, about 120 kilometres south of Herat city in western Afghanistan.[71][80]
  • On September 1, 2008, hundreds of citizens in the Afghan capital Kabul rushed into the streets and burnt tires on the Kabul-Jalalabad highway protesting the killing of three members of a Kabuli family, including two children, by U.S.-led troops. Residents said the U.S.-led troops, carrying out a pre-dawn raid in Hud Kheil area in the eastern quarter of Kabul, threw hand grenades into a house, killing Noorullah and two of his sons, one of whom was eight months old. Their deaths were the latest in a string of incidents that have angered Afghans and caused a split between the Afghan government and foreign troops.[70][81]
  • On October 16, 2008, protests by crowds condemning British forces and the Afghan government took place in Lashkar Gah, capital city of Helmand province, after a NATO airstrike killed as many as 18 women and children.[82]
  • On December 26, 2008, a crowd of hundreds of Afghans protested in Maywand district in Kandahar province following overnight raids by U.S. military forces, claiming that innocent people were killed in the attack. Local villagers, angered by the military raids, blocked the main highway for three hours and burned tires.[13][83]
  • On March 7, 2009, hundreds of Afghan demonstrators in eastern Afghanistan blocked the path of a U.S. military convoy to condemn an early morning raid in Khost province that killed four people and wounded two. Tahir Khan Sabari, the deputy governor of the province, said the four people killed were civilians, but the American military claimed they were militants. Demonstrators in Khost city threw rocks at the American military convoy, shouted "Death to America", and burned tires, sending up dark plumes of smoke.[84]
  • On May 7, 2009, thousands of Afghan villagers shouting "Death to America" and "Death to the Government" protested in Farah city over American bomber air strikes on May 4 that killed 147 civilians. Clashes with police started when people from the three villages struck by US B1-bombers brought 15 newly-discovered bodies in a truck to the house of the provincial governor. Four protesters were wounded when police opened fire. Going by the account of survivors, the air raid was not a brief attack by several aircraft acting on mistaken intelligence, but a sustained bombardment in which three villages were pounded to pieces.[85] An Afghan government investigation concluded on May 16, 2009 with the Afghan Defense Ministry announcing an official death toll of 140 villagers. A copy of the government's list of the names and ages of each of the 140 dead showed that 93 of those killed were children, and only 22 were adult males.[86]
  • On December 9, 2009, some 5,000 Afghan villagers marched in protest over the killing of civilians in a pre-dawn attack by U.S. troops in Armul village, Laghman province in eastern Afghanistan. President Hamid Karzai's office said the attack had killed 6 civilians, including one woman, while NATO denied that any civilians had been killed in its military attack. A Reuters journalist, on the other hand, saw the bodies of a woman and 12 males, including two teenagers, and the top Laghman provincial council leader said that 13 civilians had been killed. The protesters were chanting slogans against the foreign troops in their country, as well as against Afghan president Hamid Karzai and the provincial governor, when Afghan troops opened fire on them. Four protesters were hit by bullets, two dying instantly and two were taken to a hospital, where residents said they died of their wounds.[87]
  • On December 30, 2009, protesters in Jalalabad set alight a US flag and an effigy of President Obama after chanting “Death to Obama” and “Death to foreign forces”. In Kabul, protesters held up banners showing photographs of dead children alongside placards demanding “Foreign troops leave Afghanistan” and “Stop killing us”. This was in response to reports that US-led forces had shot 10 villagers in their home, including 8 children, during a raid in the Ghazi Khan village in Narang district of the eastern province of Kunar.[88]
  • On January 21, 2010, angry Afghan villagers took to the streets in Ghazni province to protest the deaths of civilians they claimed were killed in a raid by NATO troops. NATO's International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) claimed it had killed four insurgents including a 15-year-old boy during their raid in the Qarabagh District of Ghazni province the previous night. But 50 villagers brought five coffins to the provincial capital Ghazni city, claiming that three of the dead were civilians, including two children below the age of seven. The head of the provincial hospital where the bodies were initially taken said that his doctors told him that two children were among the bodies brought to them.[89]
  • On January 28, 2010, angry demonstrations took place outside Camp Phoenix, a U.S. military base on the outskirts of Kabul, after NATO troops killed an Afghan religious leader who had been sitting in a parked car with his two young sons while waiting for a NATO ISAF convoy to pass by. According to witnesses, the fourth ISAF vehicle in the convoy opened fire on the parked car without provocation. At least 16 bullet holes were later counted on the car's exterior and Mullah Mohmmad Younas was killed by three bullets in his chest and one in his abdomen. ISAF confirmed the shooting of a civilian, offered sympathies, and said it was investigating.[90]

Civilian casualties by insurgent forces

While most of the Afghan protests have been over the civilian casualties caused by international military forces, on October 24, 2008, over 1,000 Afghans also took to the streets of Mihtarlam in eastern Afghanistan to protest the killing of 26 young men by Taliban militants. A Taliban spokesperson said the men who were taken off a bus were targeted because they were members or recruits of Afghan security forces, but Afghan officials said that the men were civilians on their way to Iran to find work.[91]

In considering civilian casualties caused collectively by insurgent forces, it should be noted that the armed insurgency in Afghanistan against the government and foreign military forces is composed of many diverse individuals and groups that are motivated by a range of different goals and ideologies, that do not necessarily identify as "Taliban", and that do not act under a single line of authority.[17]

In the initial airstrikes and invasion, most of the direct civilian deaths were the result of U.S.-led airstrikes and groundfire. In the years since 2005, the mounting insurgency has resulted in more direct civilian deaths being caused each year by insurgent actions than by coalition military action. Overall, however, the number of direct civilian casualties that have been attributed to insurgent forces by the available estimates remains less than the number that have been attributed to U.S.-led airstrikes and groundfire since 2001.

International protests, demonstrations and rallies

A roll call opposite Downing Street

The deaths of thousands of Afghan civilians caused directly and indirectly by the U.S. and NATO bombing campaigns have been a major underlying focus of protests against the war in Afghanistan since it began more than eight years ago.

Protests around the world, starting with large-scale global demonstrations in the days leading up to the official launch of U.S. Operation Enduring Freedom's under George W. Bush and Donald Rumsfeld in October 2001, have taken place every year since.

Major casualties and accidental strikes by coalition forces

From late 2001 up to now, there have been numerous incidents of civilians killed in military operations against insurgency fighters, although U.S.-led coalition and NATO forces say they go to extreme lengths to avoid civilian casualties. The foreign troops accuse insurgents of blending in with local populations while attacking foreign and Afghan forces. The following is a list of some of the specific incidents in which civilian casualties have occurred as a result of actions by coalition forces.

2001

  • On October 9, 2001, in a news conference in Islamabad, Pakistan, a United Nations spokeswoman reported that a cruise missile had killed four U.N. employees and injured four others in a building several miles east of Kabul. The casualties were Afghans employed as security guards by the Afghan Technical Consultancy, the U.N. demining agency (Afghanistan is the most heavily mined country on the planet).[92] The Taliban reported about 8 to 20 civilian casualties, unconfirmed by independent sources.[93]
  • On October 10, 2001, the Sultanpur mosque in Jalalabad was bombed (BBC) twice - once during prayer, and again when rescue workers returned to remove the wounded and the dead. Initial casualty estimates ranged from 15-70 in the first attack, and up to 120 in the second. This two-hit bombing was repeated later on November 19, when 32 people were killed in Shamshad and then the rescuers were hit again. Several other mosques were bombed later, such as the Kunduz mosque on October 12 and the particularly deadly bombing of the Kala Shah Pir village mosque on October 23. On the same day, the villages of Darunta, Torghar, and Farmada were bombed, killing between 28 and 100 people.
  • On October 11, 2001, the village of Karam was completely destroyed. (The Guardian) Reporters on the scene reported having to hold their noses due to the smell. Between 160 and 200 people, in addition to their livestock, were killed, as reported by the surviving villagers. In response, Donald Rumsfeld stated "We do not have information that validates any of that", but added that Washington's information on the ground was "imperfect". Al-Qaeda was believed to have training camps and ammunition storage tunnels in the area around Karam.
  • On October 17, 2001, downtown Kandahar was targeted with bombs and rockets in the area around a ministry building; the bombing destroyed several dozen stores and homes, and killing between 40 and 47 people. This was repeated the following day elsewhere in Kandahar, where bombs near the Kepten intersection destroyed a bazaar and killed between 10 and 47 additional people. This began a relatively deadly few days, where 40 people were killed in the Kabul area on the 18th, several dozen people were killed in Tarin Kot on the 19th, and 60-70 were killed in Herat and 50 killed in Kandahar on the 20th.[citation needed]
  • On October 21, 2001, the casualty rate peaked with the bombing of a hospital and mosque in Herat. The 200 bed hospital, used for both military and civilian patients, was reportedly not the target; the target was 300 feet (91 m) away. Approximately 100 bodies were found among the wreckage. On the same day, over 20 people (including 9 children) died when the tractor trailer used by several families to flee Tarin Kut was bombed (similar to an event on October 24); a stray bomb in the Parod Gajadad district of Khair Khana destroyed two homes; in another district of Khair Khana, 18 people were killed when 17 homes were destroyed by a bomb that missed a military base by 1/2 mile (800 m); 5 people from Kabul's Kaluezaman Khan neighborhood were killed; an 8 year old girl was killed in Macroyan, Kabul; 11 people were killed in Tarin Kut; and 3 were killed in Kandahar city. The following day, the casualty rate didn't fall much, with the coalition stepping up the targeting of fuel trucks and the accidental bombing of homes and shops in several cities, killing well over 100 people.[citation needed]
  • On October 23, 2001, the village of Chowkar Kariz was destroyed; testimony from the survivors indicated a casualty number between 52 and 93. Times journalist Paul Rogers reported that "not a single house has been left intact" and that "evidence that this remote spot had ever been used for military or terrorist purposes is non-existent." In the face of opposition from human rights groups, including Human Rights Watch, U.S. officials continued to claim that the town was a "fully legitimate target" and that "the people there are dead because we wanted them dead." This was the last major case of civilian casualties for the next few weeks, as incidents dropped to an average of four per day and an average of about 8 casualties per said attack. The most lethal attack between the 23rd and November 4, 2001 was an attack on residential areas in Kabul on October 29 that took 25 lives.[citation needed]
  • On October 26, 2001, twenty-three people were killed in a bombing raid in the village Thori in the Urozgan province.[94]
  • On November 5, 2001, an upswing in civilian casualties occurred with major attacks on Kabul and villages in the Balkh province. The most deadly of the attacks occurred in Ogopruk village, near Mazar e Sharif, where 36 people in a residential area were killed by stray bombs. The daily civilian casualty rate remained over 50 through November 10, where it peaked with attacks on three villages near Khakrez that killed approximately 125 people.[citation needed]
  • On November 13, 2001, an American missile went "awry", according to the Pentagon, and destroyed the Al-Jazeera bureau in Kabul. In (November 27, 2003 - Hearst Newspapers, www.commondreams.org/scriptfiles/views03/1127-07.htm).
  • On November 17, 2001, 62 people were killed in the bombing of a Madrassa in Khost, while 42 nomads were killed near Maiwand, two families with a total of 30 people were killed in Charikar village, 28 people were killed in Zani Khel village, and other scattered attacks took another 13 lives.[citation needed]
  • November 18, 2001 proved to be one of the more deadly days of bombing in the conflict. Scores of Gypsies were killed in Kundar, 100-150 people were killed in villages near Khanabad in an attack described by witnesses as "carpet bombing", 35 people were killed in Shamshad village, and 24 in Garikee Kah village. Several of these villages were near the front lines, and were likely hit by stray bombs. A similar error occurred on November 20 when 40 people were killed as their mud houses collapsed from a stray bomb in a village near the Kunduz front line.[citation needed]
  • An incident, similar to the October 9 incident, killed 12 people at another mine clearing facility.[citation needed]
  • On November 25, 2001, 92 people (including 18 women and 7 children) were killed by bombing in Kandahar. On the same day, 70 people were killed when cluster bombs were dropped in the Kunduz area, as well as scattered deaths in Adha village and Takhta-Pal.[citation needed]
  • On December 1, 2001, about 100 people were killed by 25 bombs in their houses in the village of Kama Ado. Kandahar city reported numerous civilian casualties, while four trucks and five busses carrying passengers fleeing the war were hit on a highway, killing 30. Talkhel and Balut villages suffered 50 casualties, while Chperagem village suffered 28. About 20 people were killed in the Agam district, while 15 people died in refugee vehicles in Arghisan, and over 30 people died in the Jada area near Herat. It proved to be another particularly lethal day in the conflict for civilians. The subsequent days were little improved. About 150 civilians died across the country on December 2 in a variety of villages. In the same week, over 300 villagers in the white mountains near Tora Bora, as US forces attacked villages which fighters passed through, hoping to kill any which remained in the area.[95]
  • After the Tora Bora bombing campaign, the effort dispersed to kill Taliban and al-Qaeda members fleeing with their families, and focused on the Paktia and Paktika provinces. Numerous villages were hit shortly after the leaders passed through, leaving a chain of destruction following their path. The first place to be struck was Mashikhel in Paktia, in what inaccurate intelligence had said was a Taliban base. The city's mosque (Saqawa) was hit, killing 10 and injuring 12. The bombing then moved to Mashkhel, killing another 16 civilians. On December 20, 2001, U.S. AC-130 gunships and Navy fighters attacked and destroyed a convoy in Afghanistan believed to be carrying the leaders and struck surrounding villages. The convoy turned out to be carrying tribal elders heading to the inauguration ceremony for Hamid Karzai; between 20 and 65 people died.[96] Overnight on the 27th, US forces struck at the village of Naka. Between 25 and 40 people were killed, 5-25 houses were destroyed, and 4-60 people were injured; however, US forces got one of their targets (the Taliban's Minister of Security, Qari Ahmadullah) and two sons of a commander they were also seeking (Maulvi Ahmed Taha). Taha himself was not killed in the attack. The next night, the village of Shekhan was bombed, killing 15 civilians and destroying three houses.[citation needed]
  • The following day (December 31, 2001), one of the largest single incidents of civilian casualties in the entire war occurred: at least one U.S. fighter jet, a B-52 bomber and two helicopters swooped on Qalaye Niazi near Gardez, killing over 100 people. The area was littered with craters; one person (Janat Gul) recounted how all other 24 members of her family were killed. Body parts were reported scattered throughout the streets; the United Nations has confirmed that all of the dead were civilians.[96][97]

2002

  • On July 1, 2002, 48 people at a wedding party in a village in Oruzgan province were killed, and a further 117 injured, in a bombing raid.[95][98] New figures from October 2006 say that 46 people were killed.[96][99] The name of the village is Del Rawad, though early reports gave its name as Kakrakai or Kakrak. Gunfire meant to celebrate the wedding was apparently mistaken by US military for hostile gunfire. A B-52 bomber and AC-130 gunship were both involved in the incident, which reportedly went on for over an hour. The victims included many women and children. Some survivors were treated in Mirwai Hospital in Kandahar, and at least four children were treated at military hospitals in Bagram and Kandahar. The incident resulted in a formal protest, and later a warning, from the Afghan government. An anti-American rally was held in Kabul on July 5 as a protest against the incident. On July 3, US President George Bush expressed "deep condolences for the loss of human life", and US authorities later stated that the area affected by the bombing would be rebuilt. Several inquiries into the incident were undertaken.[100] According to The Times, a preliminary UN report has stated that US forces arrived at the scene of the bombing raid and removed vital evidence.CNN reporting on the Times report However, this has been dismissed as false by the Afghan government. United States bombs have also struck a Kabul residential area and struck near and damaged a military hospital (according to the U.N.) or an elderly home (according to the Pentagon) in Herat.

2003

  • February 2003 - At least 17 civilians, mostly women and children, were killed in coalition bombing raids in a mountainous region Helmand province.[96][101]
  • February 2003 - Reuters reported that, according to locals, 8 civilians were killed in the Baghran Valley area of Helmand province when a U.S. bomber and gunship attacked the area. [96]
  • April 9, 2003 - Eleven Afghans, seven of them women, were killed and one wounded when a stray U.S. laser-guided bomb hit a house on the outskirts of Shkin in Paktika province.[95][96]
  • September 2003 - At least eight civilians died in a U.S. air strike in the Naw Bahar district of the Zabul province that also killed a Taliban commander.[96][102]
  • October 30, 2003 - In a small hamlet near the village of Aranj in the Waygal district of Nuristan province, Afghanistan, six people of the same family were killed when a house was bombarded by U.S. warplanes. The house belonged to a former provincial governor, Ghulam Rabbani, who was in Kabul at the time. The raid was aimed at Gulbuddin Hekmatyar and Mullah Faqirullah, both of whom had left the area just hours before. The victims (three children, an adolescent, a young man and an old woman) were all relatives of Mullah Rabbani.[96][103]
  • November 15, 2003 - Six civilians died when a U.S. warplane dropped a bomb in the Barmal district of Paktika province.[104]
  • December 5, 2003 - Near Gardez in Paktia province, an air and ground attack by U.S. special forces on a compound, used by a rebel commander Mullah Jalani to store munitions, killed six children and two adults.[95][96]
  • December 6. 2003 - According to both villagers and the U.S. military, 9 children - 7 boys and 2 girls from the ages of 9 to 12 - and a 25-year-old man were killed when two U.S. A-10 Thunderbolt II planes targeted the village of Hutala with rockets and guns. Mullah Wazir, the intended target, was not at home at the time. U.S. ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad stated the next day that Wazir was killed in the attack, but retracted the statement shortly after. Names and ages of the children killed: Habibullah, 11; Obaidullah, 10; Faizullah, 9; Ismail Jan, 11; Nabi Jan, 9; Habibullah, 12; Aminullah, 9; Bibi Toara, 10; and Bibi Tamama, 9. [95][96][105]

2004

  • January 18, 2004 - 11 civilians - 4 children and 7 adults - were killed by a U.S. air strike on a house in the village of Saghatho.[106]

2005

  • July 1, 2005 - An "unknown number" of noncombatants are killed in an airstrike in Kunar province.[107] A second source dates the incident on July 3 and places the number of victims at 17.[108]

2006

  • January 14, 2006 - Several missiles are fired over the Afghan border into the Pakistani village of Damadola in the Bajaur area. 18 civilians are killed[109]
  • March 14, 2006 - Canadian troops in Kandahar open fire on a taxi, killing one of its passengers, Nasrat Ali Hassan[110]
  • May 22, 2006 - 17 villagers were killed when coalition warplanes attacked Taliban forces in Kandahar Province. The U.S. military, which said dozens of militants also died in the fighting, expressed regret over the deaths. [99][111]
  • August, 2006 - Canadian troops shoot and kill an Afghan policeman[112]
  • August 22, 2006 - A 10 year old boy riding as a passenger on a motorcycle is shot and killed by Canadian troops in Kandahar[113]
  • October 18, 2006, a rocket hit a house during a nighttime clash between suspected Taliban insurgents and NATO and Afghan security forces in the farming village of Tajikai, 135 miles (217 km) west of Kandahar city. The rocket was fired from an aircraft and killed 13 villagers inside the home. A NATO spokesman said alliance jets and helicopters fired rockets and dropped bombs on Taliban positions in the area after 2 a.m.October 18, 2006, but could not confirm that they hit a civilian house. He added that the Taliban had been using mortars in the area of the clash. About 100 families live in Tajikai.[99]
  • October 19, 2006 - Airstrikes by NATO helicopters hunting Taliban fighters ripped through three dried mud homes in southern Afghanistan as villagers slept early October 18, 2006. At least nine civilians were killed, including women and children, said residents and the provincial governor. Angry villagers in Ashogho condemned the attack, which set back NATO's hopes of winning local support for their tough counterinsurgency campaign. The airstrikes came at about the same time a rocket struck a house in a village to the west, reportedly killing 13 people. NATO's International Security Assistance Force said in a statement that October 18, 2006 operation in Kandahar was believed to have caused several civilian casualties. The alliance said the operation was meant to detain people involved in roadside bomb attacks in Panjwayi district, which borders Zhari District. NATO said it regretted any civilian casualties and that it makes every effort to minimize the risk of collateral damage.[99]
  • October 26, [2006] Between 40 and 60 villagers are killed in two separate night air raids, followed by mortar and rocket attacks against villages in the Panjwayi and Pashmul districts of Kandahar province.[114]
  • November 16, 2006 - UK troops shoot at a vehicle and kill two of its occupant, wounding a young girl, near Girish, in Helmand Province[115]
  • December 12, 2006 - An elderly motorcyclist was shot and killed by Canadian troops in Kandahar[116]

2007

  • January 12, 2007 - Afghan police claim 13 civilians killed in a NATO airstrike in the Garmser district of Helmand Province. NATO claims "no evidence of any civilian casualties"[117]
  • January 24, 2007 - NATO troops fired at a vehicle which failed to stop in the Gereshk district of Helmand province. The bullets killed a passerby.[118]
  • February 17, 2007 - An unarmed man acting in a suspicious manner was shot and killed by Canadian troops near the village of Senjaray 12 km west of Kandahar[119]
  • February 17, 2007 NATO troops shot and killed a civilian who was running through convoy near Kandahar[120]
  • February 18, 2007 - Canadian troops mistakenly gunned down an Afghan National Police officer and a homeless beggar after their convoy was ambushed in Kandahar City late Sunday[121]
  • February 27, 2007 - Canadian troops fire at a Toyota car that failed to stop at a security cordon around a broken down Canadian vehicle in the Kandahar area. One occupant is killed, the other is wounded. No weapons or bombs were found.[122]
  • March 4, 2007 - Approximately 16 civilians are killed and dozens are wounded by US marine gunfire on the road between Jalalabad and Pakistan after a bomb blast directed the marine convoy in what has become known as the Shinwar massacre.[123][124] In a March 14, 2007 article, the Afghan human rights commission alleged Marines put the number of victims at 12 people—including a 4-year-old girl, a 1-year-old boy and three elderly villagers and stated the Marines used excessive force, as they shot at people as they fled the scene of the bomb, even miles from the incident location. This report on killings of civilians in the Nangarhar Province is consistent with U.S. findings. The Marine commander and NCO were shipped back to the United States after this incident[125]
  • March 5, 2007 Nine civilians, including five women and two to three children are killed when their home was destroyed by two 2,000 lb (910 kg) bombs in the Nijrab district, in the Kapisa province, north of Kabul. The troops were responding to an attack that hit a Nato provincial reconstruction team.[126][127]
  • March 16, 2007 - Five Afghan policemen are killed by US troops at a checkpoint in a village near Gereshk, in Helmand Province.[128] In later reports, the US denied its troops had been involved in the killings[129]
  • April 14, 2007 - A suicide bomber hits Afghan police by blowing himself up outside a police headquarters in the Khost Province, killing at least eight people, police have told.[130]
  • April 29, 2007 - Six people including a woman and a teenage girl are killed by US and Afghan forces as they raided a suspected "car bomb cell" in the Bati Kot area of Nangarhar province, very close to the location of the March 4th 2007. Another woman and another teenage girl were wounded. incident.[131][132]
  • May 1, 2007 - About 50 civilians, including women and children were killed by US and NATO bombings in Herat province of western Afghanistan during the preceding week.[62][133]
  • May 9, 2007 - Between 21 and 38 civilians, including women and children are killed by a US Air Raid in the village of Soro, in the Sangin district of Helmand Province. Five homes were bombed after US Special Forces came under attack, an attack which cost the life of one US serviceman.[134][135][136][137][138][139]
  • May 31, 2007 - At least 15 civilians were killed by NATO forces in the Kajaki district of Helmand Province. [140]
  • June 11, 2007 - Three civilians are killed by "NATO-Led Troops" troops in the Kunar Province as they approached a checkpoint in a vehicle.[141]
  • June 15, 2007 - 6 children are killed and 4 injured when a suicide bomber attacks a NATO convoy in Uruzgan province. Another civilian is killed in a crossfire in Helmand.[142]
  • June 18, 2007 - Seven children are killed in a US Air Strike directed at a compound in Zarghun Shah, in the Paktika province. Initially the US claimed they did not know that children were in the compounds but some U.S. officials confirmed that U.S. forces were indeed aware of the children's presence but military officials told NBC News that Abu Laith al Libi, an al-Qaida leader, was considered such a high-value target it was worth the risk that some children might become casualties of the attack. [143][144]
  • June 19, 2007 - 10 civilians are killed in a US missile strike inside Pakistan [145][146][147][148]
  • June 22, 2007 - About 25 civilians including 9 women and 3 children are killed in an air strike in the village of De Adam Khan, near the town of Gereshk in Helmand Province. [149][150]
  • June 24, 2007 - Two men on motorcycles were shot as they approached the site of an IED explosion against a British vehicle in which a British soldier was killed. This incident occurred near Lashkar Gahin, in Helmand Province. One of the two motrocyclists died, the other was wounded. [66]
  • June 29, 2007 - Four civilian men were killed in a house by US troops who were looking for insurgents. An 85-year-old man, Mohammada Jan, two of his sons and a grandson had been killed by troops who first blew up the gate of house in the village of Nokrukhel in Sherzad district of Nangarhar province.[151][152]
  • June 29, 2007 - Between 50 and 80 civilians are killed by Air Strikes on the village of Hyderabad, in the Province of Hellmand in southern Afghanistan. [153][154][155][156]
  • July 7, 2007 - Villagers from Watapour in the Province of Kunar claim that about 35 civilians were killed by Air Strikes, 10 on July 5 and another 25 on the 7th when the funeral for the 10 was bombed [157][158]
  • August 2, 2007 - Many people, possibly in the hundreds, are reported wounded and killed by an air strike in the Baghran district of the Province of Helmand. [159][160][161][162][163][164][165]
  • September 19, 2007 - One Afghan civilian and several others wounded in a traffic collision with a Canadian convoy. [166]
  • September 19, 2007 - Six civilians, women and children are killed by an airstrike in Helmand province. [167]
  • September 23, 2007 - A US helicopter accidentally killed two policemen and three security guards during an anti-Taliban operation in Kunar Province. Eight more were injured. [168]
  • October 2, 2007 - A man on a motorcycle is killed and a child riding behing him is wounded by Canadian troops in Kandahar [169]
  • October 23, 2007 - A child was found dead in a tent and four others found wounded after coalition forces fired on the tent from which they claimed they had received gunfire. [170]
  • November 15, 2007 - A man in a taxi is killed and another wounded when they were shot at in Kandahar by Canadian troops riding in a convoy [171]
  • November 28, 2007 - An Afghan official, Nuristan governor Tamim Nuristani, claims U.S.-led coalition troops killed 14 road construction workers in air strikes in eastern Afghanistan. This incident was confirmed by Sayed Noorullah Jalili, director of the Kabul-based road construction company Amerifa whose employees were killed in the bombing. [172]

2008

  • January 24, 2008 - Nine or ten Afghan policemen and two civilians were killed by US Forces in the Ghazni province, 100 km south of Kabul[173][174]
  • January 30, 2008 - Three civilians showed up at a Kandahar hospital with gunshot wounds, claiming they had been shot at by a Canadian convoy. One of them later died of his injuries.[175][176][177]
  • March 12, 2008 - The British government says its troops were responsible for an airstrike that killed two women and two children around Helmand. At least 10 others were injured.[178][179]
  • March 13, 2008 - Two women and two children are killed in Pakistan by cross border shelling fired by US forces in Afghanistan [180]
  • March 19, 2008 - Several civilians are killed by US troops in Muqibel, a village of Khost province.[181]
  • June 11, 2008 - At least 30 killed at 10 P.M. on Tuesday night, June 10, 2008, in the village of Ebrahim Kariz, Mata Khan district of Paktika Province. US forces launched an air and ground attack upon the village allegedly targeting a "militant hideout." Residents said that dozens of civilians were killed [182]
  • June 23, 2008 - A father and son were allegedly killed by gunfire from US-led soldiers, a governor and witnesses said. Around 200 people demonstrated in the Khogyani district of Nangarhar province. [183]
  • July 4, 2008 - 23 civilians are killed by US air strikes the district of Waygal, in the province of Nouristan[184]
  • July 6, 2008 - 47 civilians attending a wedding (including the bride) are killed by US air strikes in Nangarhar province [185]
  • July 14, 2008 - Officials in Nuristan province said almost 30 defenseless civilians have been reportedly killed during NATO-led International Security Assistance Forces (ISAF) airstrike in Want-Waigal district of the eastern province. ISAF denies the claim [186][187]
  • July 15, 2008 - US Forces admit to killing eight civilians in the Bakwa district of Farah province. They bombed a number of houses from which they were receiving fire. [188]
  • July 17, 2008 - Dozens of civilians are reported killed and injured by air strikes in the Shindand district of Herat province. [188]
  • July 20, 2008 - Thirteen civilians are killed in two separate incidents: nine policemen were killed by a US air strikes in the Ana Darreh district of Farah province. In the second episode, a NATO statement said, at least four civilians were accidentally killed and four other civilians wounded in mortar strikes by the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force in the eastern province of Paktika. The deaths of an additional three people had not been confirmed, the statement said. [189][190]
  • July 26, 2008 - British troops opened fire on a vehicle that failed to stop at a checkpoint in the Sangin district of Helmand province, killing four and injuring three. [191]
  • July 27, 2008 - Canadian troops opened fire on a vehicle that came too close to a Canadian convoy in Kandahar. A two-year-old girl and her four-year-old brother were killed and the father of the two children was wounded. [192][193]
  • August 7, 2008 - US troops killed four women and a child in an exchange of fire in an area of central Ghazni province.[194]
  • August 10, 2008 - Eight hostages held by the insurgents are killed by a coalition air strike in Uruzgan province. [195]
  • August 16, 2008 - Four civilians were killed by a British rocket attack against a compound in the Sangin district of Helmand province. Three others were wounded. The casualties included women and children.[196][197]
  • August 21, 2008 - The Afghan Interior Ministry reported that U.S. coalition bombs had killed up to 95 (up from 76) civilians, including 60 children, in an airstrike on Azizabad, a village in the Shindand district of Herat province. [198][199][200][201]
  • August 31, 2008 - Three children are killed by ISAF-fired artillery shells in the Gayan district of Paktika province. Seven other civilians were wounded. [202]
  • September 1, 2008 - A man and his two young children are killed in a night raid on his home in Kabul. His wife is injured. [203][204]
  • September 9, 2008 - At least two Afghan civilians have been killed and 10 wounded in an air strike by Nato-led forces in the eastern province of Khost, Nato officials say. [205][206]
  • September 18, 2008 - Canadian soldiers in a convoy fire at a civilian truck in Kandahar, killing one of the occupants.[207]
  • September 29, 2008 - A British soldier shot and killed a civilian on a motorbike at a checkpoint near the Forward Operating Base Inkermanin in the Sangin district of Helmand province. [208]
  • October 16, 2008 - About 18 civilians are killed by an air strike in the Nad Ali district of Helmand province [209]
  • November 3, 2008 - Dozens of people, including over 30 women and children, are killed by air strikes in the village of Wech Baghtu in the district of Shah Wali Kowt, Kandahar province. The strike was called in on the village when a wedding was taking place. [210][211][212] A joint Afghan-U.S. investigation found that 37 Afghan civilians were killed and 35 others wounded by the U.S. air strike.[213]
  • November 6, 2008 - At least seven civilians were killed by an air strike by international forces in the Ghowrmach district of Badghis province.[214]

2009

  • February 12, 2009 - Australian special forces soldiers killed 5 Afghan children in an attack on a compound in Uruzgan province in southern Afghanistan.[20]
  • March 2009 - A Danish smoke grenade that hit a kitchen during the course of fighting with insurgents flung a little girl against a wall, killing her. The Afghan child's death occurred at the start of March during joint military action with British soldiers in the province of Helmand.[215]
  • April 9, 2009 - American-led military forces killed four civilians - a man, a woman, and two children - as well as an unborn baby in an overnight U.S. raid in the eastern province of Khost. The night raid killed the schoolteacher wife of Afghan National Army artillery commander Awal Khan, his 17-year-old daughter Nadia, his 15-year-old son, Aimal, and his brother, who worked for a government department. Another daughter was wounded. The pregnant wife of Khan's cousin, who lived next door, was shot five times in the abdomen, killing her nine-month-old unborn baby. "The coalition has to stop this cruelty and brutal action," a grieving Khan said. The US-led military initially said four people killed by troops were "armed militants", but later admitted that the people killed and wounded were civilians. International humanitarian organisation CARE said in a statement that the slain schoolteacher had been working at a school that it supports. "CARE strongly condemns the action and demands that international military forces operating in Afghanistan are held accountable for their actions and avoid all attacks on innocent civilians in the country."[75][76]
  • May 4, 2009 - American B1-B bombers killed at least two dozen and possibly as many as 147 Afghan civilians in western Afghanistan in what has been called the Farah massacre. Local Afghan officials in Farah province collected the names of 147 people that were killed in the airstrike.[85][216] After the Afghan government's investigation, the Afghan Defense Ministry announced an official death toll of 140 villagers. A government list with the names and ages of each of the 140 killed showed that 93 of those killed were children, while only 22 were adult males.[86] A U.S. military investigation, on the other hand, estimated that 26 civilians were killed, but also admitted in its report that they would never be able to determine precisely how many civilians were killed by the operation. The U.S. military report concluded that at least two airstrikes on buildings should not have been ordered, and called for changes in the U.S. military's rules for using airstrikes as well as retraining. The report was also critical of the military for failing to assess battle damage quickly, and called for the creation of an investigative team that can respond within two hours of a reported incident.[217][218]
  • September 4, 2009 - As many as 70-90 people, most of them civilians, were killed in northern Kunduz province by a U.S. airstrike called in by German ISAF troops after militants had hijacked two fuel tankers headed from Tajikistan to supply NATO forces. The hijacked tankers got stuck in the mud by Kunduz River near the village of Omar Khel. According to Taliban spokesperson Zabiullah Mujahid, the insurgents opened valves to release fuel and lighten the loads, and villagers swarmed the trucks to collect the fuel despite warnings that they might be hit by an airstrike. According to some Afghan officials, the militants encouraged local people to take advantage of the situation. Word spread quickly and about 500 people from surrounding villages flocked to the trucks. At 2:30 A.M., a U.S. F-15 fighter jet dropped two 500-pound bombs on the fuel tankers, triggering a huge fireball that incinerated many of the people nearby. Video footage filmed in the morning showed piles of charred bodies lying by the river. An International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) team member and others said it was impossible to know how many people had died, with many bodies possibly having been washed away by the river. According to Afghan police, provincial officials, and doctors, most of those killed were civilians.[219][220][221]
  • December 25, 2009 - Ten Afghan civilians, including 8 students that were children, were killed by U.S.-led forces during a military operation in the Narang district of Kunar province. The governor of Kunar province said the foreign military operation was launched without the knowledge of government officials in the province. On December 31, Afghan President Hamid Karzai stated that according to the investigative commission in Kunar, the victims had been shot dead in their homes by foreign soldiers. The headmaster of the school attended by the children has stated that 7 of the children had been handcuffed prior to being shot.[88] The Afghan president called upon ISAF to hand the soldiers that were responsible over to Afghan authorities - ISAF did not respond.[222][223]
  • December 31, 2009 - At least 8 Afghan villagers were killed by a US airstrike on a house near the provincial capital Lashkar Gah in Helmand province. Two other villagers were also injured by the airstrike.[223]

2010

  • February 14, 2010 - 12 Afghan civilians were killed by NATO missiles during a major U.S.-led offensive against insurgents in southern Afghanistan. ISAF admitted responsibility for the civilian deaths, saying that two rockets missed their target and landed on a compound in the Nad Ali district of Helmand province. President Hamid Karzai ordered an investigation into the incident that occurred less than 24 hours after he had again warned foreign troops to take all precautions to protect Afghan civilians. The United Nations meanwhile estimated that 900 families from the town of Marjah were being temporarily sheltered after fleeing their homes ahead of the large-scale military offensive involving over 15,000 troops.[224]
  • February 15, 2010 - A NATO airstrike killed 5 Afghan civilians and wounded two others in Zhari district, Kandhar, about 23 km west of Kandahar city, after troops patrolling on the ground called in the airstrike. After the airstrike, the patrol "approached the site and determined the individuals had not been emplacing an IED," NATO said in a statement. U.S. Marine Maj.-Gen. Michael Regner, the chief of staff for NATO in Kabul, announced that an investigation would be undertaken "to determine how this happened."[225]
  • February 21, 2010 - 33 civilians were killed in Uruzgan province in a NATO airstrike on a convoy of vehicles. NATO initially stated that the convoy was thought to have contained Taliban insurgents[226], however, NATO ground troops arriving after the airstrike found a number of people dead and injured, including women and children[227]. The Afghan governor of the province, Sultan Ali, has stated that all of the dead were civilians, and the Afghan government condemned the attack, calling it "unjustifiable" and "a major obstacle" to effective counter-terrorism efforts[226]. The US and NATO commander in Afghanistan, General Stanley McChrystal, has apologised to Afghan president Hamid Karzai and ordered a full investigation into the incident.[227]

See also

References

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  142. ^ 'Children dead' in Afghan bombing
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  159. ^ Afghans 'wounded in air strike'
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  163. ^ 'Civilians dead' in Nato air raids
  164. ^ Radio Canada
  165. ^ Up to 300 Afghan civilians wounded in NATO air strike: report
  166. ^ Afghan civilian dead in accident with Canadian convoy
  167. ^ Une autre bavure de l'OTAN
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  169. ^ Canadians kill Afghan civilian, wound child
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  171. ^ Canadian troops involved in Afghan shooting death
  172. ^ Afghan officials say coalition air strikes killed road workers
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  177. ^ [10]
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  183. ^ Afghans protest alleged civilian casualties by US forces
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  189. ^ U.S. and NATO forces kill 13 Afghans in strikes said to be mistakes
  190. ^ U.S.-led troops mistakenly kill Afghan police, civilians
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  194. ^ Civilian deaths in Afghan battle
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  197. ^ UK troops kill Afghan civilians
  198. ^ Kabul says 76 civilians killed in coalition attack
  199. ^ Afghanistan criticises US attack
  200. ^ Afghan Leader Assails Airstrike He Says Killed 95
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  202. ^ Afghan children die in Nato raid
  203. ^ Afghan family killed in house raid
  204. ^ Afghans protest against continuous civilian death by International troops
  205. ^ Nato raid kills Afghan civilians
  206. ^ 2 killed, 10 injured in Afghanistan by errant NATO bomb
  207. ^ Man dies after Canadian troops fire on Afghan civilian truck
  208. ^ UK soldier shoots Afghan civilian
  209. ^ Afghan strike 'kills civilians'
  210. ^ Air strikes kill dozens of wedding guests
  211. ^ Air raids 'kill Afghan women'
  212. ^ 'Many dead' in Afghan air strike
  213. ^ Air strike killed 37 Afghan civilians
  214. ^ Air raid 'kills Afghan civilians'
  215. ^ Afghan child victim of military action
  216. ^ 147 Afghans dead in fighting
  217. ^ U.S. report on Afghan civilian deaths urges caution
  218. ^ US Acknowledges Role in Afghan Civilian Deaths
  219. ^ NATO airstrike kills dozens in Afghanistan
  220. ^ After Afghan strike, charred flesh and burning rage
  221. ^ NATO airstrike in Afghanistan kills up to 90
  222. ^ Afghan official: 10 civilians killed in coalition operation
  223. ^ a b Civilians Again Killed in NATO Airstrike in Afghanistan
  224. ^ 12 Afghan civilians killed by NATO missiles
  225. ^ [http://www.vancouversun.com/news/Second+group+Afghan+civilians+killed+NATO+push/2567666/story.html Second group of Afghan civilians killed in NATO push]
  226. ^ a b Nato strike kills a number of Afghan civilians
  227. ^ a b Air strike kills Afghan civilians

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