... for persecution is worse than slaughter..(part of 2:191)
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Friday, January 1, 2010

UN slams US over killing of Afghan civilians

The UN special envoy in Afghanistan has said he is concerned about the mounting civilian death toll in the war-ravaged country.

Kai Eide warned against nighttime actions by coalition forces ''given that they often result in lethal outcomes for civilians."

The UN representative urged US-led NATO forces to make every effort to minimize civilian casualties in Afghanistan.

He was referring to the alleged killing of ten civilians at the hands of foreign troops on Sunday in northeast Afghanistan. The US military insists that the victims were armed militants.

The UN however confirmed that Afghans slain in a US-led raid at weekend were Students.

''Based on our initial investigation, eight of those killed were students enrolled in local schools.'' Eide said.

The victims, including eight school children, were dragged out of their homes in the Kunar province and shot to death.

Military offensives in Kunar, which borders Pakistan, are being led by US Special Forces.

Eide's comments come as the Afghan government has called on NATO to hand over the foreign troops responsible for Sunday's killings.

President Hamid Karzai on Thursday demanded the US hand over the gunmen who killed the children.

The coalition attack has sparked a public outcry and prompted anti-US demonstrations, with protesters in Kabul demanding that US forces should leave the country.

Protesters strongly condemned the killing and warned of violent reaction by the public (picture). The demonstrators have torched a US flag and several effigies of US President Barack Obama over the past 48 hours.

The UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan said in a recent report that 2,038 civilians had died in the first 10 months of 2009 as a result of US-led operations in the conflict-torn country.

Figures released by the United Nations indicate a 10 percent rise in the civilian death toll from the US-led war in Afghanistan with a good share of fatalities caused by foreign forces.

Kai Eide is a Norwegian diplomat who was appointed Head of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan on March 7, 2008.

Fri, 01 Jan 2010 | PressTv