70% of Afghan Civilian Deaths Caused by Taliban
Death caused by allied forces down 28%
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jan 13, 2010 5:29 AM CST
In this Jan. 6, 2010 file photo, a schoolboy killed by an explosion is seen surrounded by relatives as some chant anti US and Afghan government slogans, in the back ground, east of Kabul, Afghanistan.   (AP Photo/Rahmat Gul, File)
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(Newser) – The number of Afghan civilians who died in war-related violence last year soared to the highest annual level since the conflict began in 2001, with nearly 70% blamed on insurgents, according the the UN, and 25% to allied forces. The UN mission in Afghanistan said 2,412 civilians were killed in 2000—a 14% increase over 2008. The deaths caused by allied forces show a 28% drop over the previous year.

Almost half of the civilian casualties occurred in southern Afghanistan, which has seen intense fighting as US and allied troops seek to oust the Taliban and other insurgents. US and NATO commander Stanley McChrystal has ordered troops to use airstrikes judiciously and take other measures to reduce civilian casualties following widespread public outrage over civilian deaths.