The civilian death toll in Afghanistan continued to rise today as US forces launched an overnight operation killing six men in Zabul. The military insists that those killed were militants, but a member of Zabul’s provincial council insisted that the six killed were all civilians. Several other locals likewise insisted they were civilians. The US insists that it will look into the matter.
NATO forces also killed a civilian in Helmand Province, shooting him when he refused to stop for a passing NATO patrol. They assumed he was a suicide bomber, according to officials, though they later confirmed that he was not.
The number of civilian killings by the international forces in Afghanistan has become an increasing source of friction between NATO and the Afghan government. NATO continues to insist that it is taking new measures to reduce the toll, but the number of deaths continues to rise at an alarming rate.