While President Karzai speaks to his domestic audience – this, from Al Jazeera English ….
Hamid Karzai, Afghanistan’s president, has lashed out at Nato and US forces for failing to adequately protect civilians in the battle against Taliban and al-Qaeda fighters in the country.
In an exclusive interview with Al Jazeera on Tuesday, Karzai said growing civilian anger may soon be the barrier to success in the country.
“The international community will not achieve in Afghanistan their objectives unless the Afghan people support them,” he said.
Karzai admitted that he had also failed to do enough to ensure security, but he laid the blame for rising anger over civilian deaths with the foreign forces.
“The foundation of success is in the co-operation of the Afghan people in their own government and in the international community’s good intentions,” he said….
…. we see this from the UN Secretary-General’s latest quarterly report (Q3 2009) – page 6 of PDF here :
…. UNAMA recorded 784 conflict-related civilian casualties between August and October 2009, up 12 per cent from the same period in 2008. Anti-Government elements remain responsible for the largest proportion of civilian casualties (78 per cent of the total), of whom 54 per cent were victims of suicide and improvised explosive device attacks. The increased reliance of anti-Government elements on improvised explosive device attacks has demonstrated an apparent disregard for the loss of civilian life. However, it is encouraging to see that certain positive steps have continued to be taken by the Government and its international military partners to reduce the impact of military operations on the civilian population ….
Another variation on the killing of non-combatants, from the UN News Centre’s story on the 2009 Q3 report:
(Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon) notes the insurgents’ intimidation and threats against civilians to discourage them from participating in the elections, targeting community leaders and clerics in particular, as well as slightly increased attacks against the aid community, a nearly daily occurrence. On average nine people were assassinated per week in the third quarter, one of whom on average was a community leader.
More previous grist for the civilian casualties discussion mill: