Mobile  |  About us  |  Photos  |  Videos  |  Subscriptions  |  RSS Feeds  |  Today's Paper  |  Classifieds  |  Contact Us
The Daily Star
SUNDAY, 20 APR 2014
04:41 PM Beirut time
Weather    
Beirut
23 °C
Blom Index
BLOM
1,214.01down
Middle East
Follow this story Print RSS Feed ePaper share this
NATO rejects UN report on death of Afghan children
Associated Press
Protesters from CODEPINK, a group opposed to U.S. militarism, including co-founder Medea Benjamin, center, disrupt the start of the Senate Intelligence Committee confirmation hearing for John Brennan, Thursday, Feb. 7, 2013, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
Protesters from CODEPINK, a group opposed to U.S. militarism, including co-founder Medea Benjamin, center, disrupt the start of the Senate Intelligence Committee confirmation hearing for John Brennan, Thursday, Feb. 7, 2013, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
A+ A-

KABUL, Afghanistan: The U.S.-led international coalition on Friday rejected a U.N. rights group's concern about reports that U.S. military strikes have killed hundreds of children in Afghanistan during the past four years, saying they are "categorically unfounded."

The statement by the International Security Assistance Force came a day after the Geneva-based U.N. Committee on the Rights of the Child said the casualties were "due notably to reported lack of precautionary measures and indiscriminate use of force."

The coalition also dismissed that claim, saying that it takes special care to avoid civilian casualties. The coalition said the number of children who died or were wounded from air operations dropped by nearly 40 percent in 2012 compared with the year before, although it did not give specific figures.

The U.N. was reviewing a range of U.S. policies affecting children for the first time since 2008. The release of the report coincides with an intensifying debate in Washington over U.S. policy on drone targeting and airstrikes.

CIA Director-designate John Brennan faced a Senate Intelligence Committee confirmation hearing on Thursday. His defense of drone strikes to kill terror suspects, including Americans, is causing key lawmakers to consider lifting secrecy from what has become an important weapon in the fight against al-Qaida.

In its report, the U.N. committee told the United States to "take concrete and firm precautionary measures and prevent indiscriminate use of force to ensure that no further killings and maiming of civilians, including children, take place." Human rights and civil liberties groups applauded the findings.

The U.N. committee referred to "hundreds" of children killed since 2008 and expressed alarm that the figure had "doubled from 2010 to 2011."

It didn't provide specific numbers, but a report to the U.N. Security Council last April by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon's special representative for Children and Armed Conflict said the number of child casualties blamed on airstrikes conducted by international and allied Afghan forces doubled compared with the last reporting period, with 110 children killed and 68 injured in 2011.

The international coalition acknowledged U.S. forces are sometimes responsible for civilian deaths "despite all efforts to avoid them," but said the overall number of civilian casualties declined by 49 percent in 2012 compared with the previous year.

It also cited an August report from the U.N. mission in Afghanistan stating that the vast majority of Afghan civilian deaths are caused by the insurgency.

"The U.N. Committee on the Rights of the Child's concerns about reports of the death of hundreds of children as a result of attacks and airstrikes by the U.S. military in Afghanistan are categorically unfounded," the coalition statement said.

"Equally unsubstantiated is their assertion that U.S. forces use indiscriminate force during their operations. Finally, the committee's assertion that U.S. troops do not exercise precautionary measures is entirely false."

 
Home Middle East
 
     
 
Afghanistan
Advertisement
Comments  

Your feedback is important to us!

We invite all our readers to share with us their views and comments about this article.

Disclaimer: Comments submitted by third parties on this site are the sole responsibility of the individual(s) whose content is submitted. The Daily Star accepts no responsibility for the content of comment(s), including, without limitation, any error, omission or inaccuracy therein. Please note that your email address will NOT appear on the site.

comments powered by Disqus
Advertisement


Baabda 2014
Advertisement
Follow us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter Follow us on Linked In Follow us on Google+ Subscribe to our Live Feed
Multimedia
Images  
Pictures of the day
A selection of images from around the world- Saturday April 19, 2014
View all view all
Advertisement
Rami G. Khouri
Rami G. Khouri
Why Israeli-Palestinian talks fail
Michael Young
Michael Young
Why confuse gibberish with knowledge?
David Ignatius
David Ignatius
Echoes of 1914 characterize the Ukraine crisis
View all view all
Advertisement
cartoon
 
Click to View Articles
 
 
News
Business
Opinion
Sports
Culture
Technology
Entertainment
Privacy Policy | Anti-Spamming Policy | Disclaimer | Copyright Notice
© 2014 The Daily Star - All Rights Reserved - Designed and Developed By IDS