Over 90 Civilians Killed in Recent military operations, says UN

9/26/2008 // "The safety and welfare of civilians must be considered above all else during the planning and conduct of all military operations”, Kai Eide, Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Afghanistan, said in Kabul today after an investigation has found that some 90 civilians, including 60 children, were killed in recent military operations.

Following reports of large numbers of civilian casualties caused during military operations in Shindand district of Herat province, a team of human rights officers from UNAMA (United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan) went to investigate.  
According to the Statement by Mr. Eide UNAMA’s human rights team found “convincing evidence, based on the testimony of eyewitnesses, and others,” that some 90 civilians were killed – including 60 children, 15 women and 15 men – and another 15 villagers wounded.

Grave Concern
“This is matter of grave concern to the United Nations. The impact of such operations undermines the trust and confidence of the Afghan people in efforts to build a just, peaceful, and law-abiding state”, he stated, reminding all parties that the protection of civilians must be their primary concern.
According to the people interviewed by UNAMA, the military operations lasted several hours during which air strikes were called in. “The destruction from aerial bombardment was clearly evident with some 7-8 houses having been totally destroyed and serious damage to many others. Local residents were able to confirm the number of casualties, including names, age and gender of the victims,” the mission said.


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