Today, the United Nations released a report detailing the civilian death toll in Afghanistan in 2008. According to the report, 2,118 civilians were killed in 2008 – 828 by the American-led coalition forces. Most of those were, unsurprisingly, killed in the various air strikes and raids against Afghan villages.
While getting exact numbers of deaths in Afghanistan is virtually impossible given the chaotic situation on the ground, particularly in the restive south, the report once again points to the absurdity of last month’s NATO report, which claimed only 973 civilians overall killed and only 97 by international forces.
NATO and the United States generally deny reports of civilian killings and only rarely concede to them – many times the question of whether people killed were civilians or militants is left disputed. Some human rights groups have suggested the actual civilian toll in 2008 may have been nearly 3,000.