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Taliban rejects U.N. report on Afghan casualties

From Jill Dougherty and Mati Matiullah, CNN
Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid said the report was part of a Pentagon propaganda campaign.
Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid said the report was part of a Pentagon propaganda campaign.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • The Taliban reject s U.N. report this week on Afghan casualties
  • The report blamed insurgents for 76 percent of civilian deaths
  • A Taliban spokesman calls it Pentagon propaganda
  • The U.N. report said the human cost of the conflict is escalating
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Kabul, Afghanistan (CNN) -- The Taliban on Thursday rejected a United Nations report that blamed it and other insurgent groups for 76 percent of all civilian casualties in Afghanistan.

Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid said the report, released Tuesday, was part of a Pentagon decision to create a propaganda campaign against the Taliban, accusing the group of attacks on civilians. He said the campaign is aimed at turning the people against the Taliban, and he said the Taliban reject that.

The United Nations representative in Afghanistan, he said, should stop this propaganda and any actions aimed at destroying the Taliban, and accept the reality on the ground.

The U.N. report said the human cost of the Afghan conflict is escalating, with killings and attacks on children by the Taliban and other insurgent groups soaring.

Afghan children and women are increasingly bearing the brunt of the conflict, being killed and wounded in their homes and communities in greater numbers than ever, said Staffan de Mistura, special representative of the U.N. secretary-general.

In the first six months of this year, 55 percent more children were killed or wounded by the Taliban and other anti-government groups than in the same period in 2009. The number of women killed or wounded by the Taliban and other insurgents increased by six percent.

From January 1 to June 30, 2010, the UNAMA Human Rights Unit documented a total of 3,268 civilian casualties, including 1,271 deaths and 1,997 injuries.

Anti-government forces were responsible for 2,477 casualties. That is 76 percent of all casualties, up 53 percent from 2009.

Pro-government forces, including the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) and Afghan security forces, were responsible for 386 civilian casualties, 12 percent of all casualties, down from 30 percent in 2009, the report said.

 
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