Afghan Govt Workers Deaths Increased Tenfold in 2012

Taliban Targeting Workers in Growing Numbers

The broad trends of the UN report on Afghan civilian deaths showed a slight decline in 2012 overall, but a rise in civilian deaths in the second half of the year, when the weather was more seasonable.

One trend was not ambiguous at all, however: the Taliban is attacking government workers in overwhelmingly large numbers, with deaths increasing tenfold between 2011 and 2012, from 108 to 1,077.

The huge increase points to increased Taliban accuracy, with a solid majority of the civilians killed by the Taliban in 2012 actually government employees likely targeted deliberately, as opposed to innocent bystanders accidentally slain in strikes.

Though the UN report didn’t spell out the specific split along gender lines, they did report that the slain workers included targeted killings of women working for the Department of Women’s Affairs.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.