Red Cross: Civilian Toll Soars in Southern Afghanistan

Worsening Security Makes Aid Deliveries Difficult

by Jason Ditz, October 12, 2010

A new report by the International Committee of the Red Cross warned today that civilian casualties are soaring in Southern Afghanistan, and that those directly wounded are a comparatively minor part of the problem.

This is just the tip of the iceberg,” warned Reto Stocker, head of the ICRC’s Kabul delegation, “those who suffer other sorts of injuries or contract disease as an indirect result of the conflict far outnumber weapon-wounded patients.

The statement also warned that the escalation of fighting and deteriorating security across the nation is making it more and more difficult to maintain presences in Afghanistan. Death tolls in the war have been at record levels this year, in the wake of the December escalation of the NATO occupation.

The Red Cross report comes at a particularly inopportune time for NATO, as they issued their own report today claiming that the civilian death toll in the war was in “sharp decline.” The NATO report claimed only 88 civilians killed or wounded in air strikes this year, despite evidence that it was enormously more than this.

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