NATO’s Growing Civilian Toll Sparks Anger in Afghanistan

High Profile Killings, Higher Profile Denials Enrage Locals

Kunar Province MP Maulana Shahzada has announced that he is filing a complaint against NATO in the International Court of Justice over the massive number of civilians killed by the international occupation force in the past weeks, 74 in his province alone.

Kunar Province is far from the only site facing such violence recently – indeed many NATO attacks killing civilians have been reported in the past few weeks. The rising death toll is sparking growing complaints from officials in the Karzai government.

The anger from the local civilian population is far greater, however, and spawns not just from the massive death tolls but from the NATO denials, including a particularly rambling series of denials in which Gen. Petraeus accused Afghan parents of burning their children, initially to make him look bad, and later claiming that they burn them all the time.

Civilian killings are nothing new in Afghanistan, but have become a major problem since the ouster of Gen. Stanley McChrystal, whose policies aimed at curbing airstrikes around civilian regions were finally starting to lower the tolls, and his replacement with Gen. David Petraeus, who has escalated the strikes dramatically.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of