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Outcry over civilian deaths in Afghanistan

Saturday, February 04, 2012 - 01:56

Feb. 4 - Afghans in Kandahar are angry over a new UN report saying more than 3,000 civilians were killed in the war in Afghanistan in 2011. Deborah Lutterbeck reports

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In 2011 more than 3,000 civilians were killed in the war in Afghanistan, according to the U.N. It is the fifth year in a row the number of civilian causalities has risen. On the streets of Kandahar some residents are hoping to make peace with the Taliban (SOUNDBITE) (Pashto) FAZIL MOHAMMAD, RESIDENT OF KANDAHAR, SAYING: "We want the Americans and foreign troops to leave our soil and we want our government to ask the Taliban to join the peace process in order to save Afghan civilian lives." Civilian deaths undermine support both in Afghanistan and the United States for the U.S.-led war, and are one of the biggest causes of friction between President Hamid Karzai and the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF). Last month the Taliban said it would open a political office in Qatar, suggesting the group may be willing to engage in negotiations. (SOUNDBITE) (Pashto) SANAULHAQ, RESIDENT OF THE KANDAHAR, SAYING: "The Taliban are our brothers, they are from this soil, we want our government to invite them all into the peace process and find a way to stop the killing of civilians." After more than a decade of war, Washington and its allies are announcing plans to steadily withdraw their troops amid doubts about the ability of the Afghan government and its security forces to confront ongoing violence. Deborah Lutterbeck, Reuters

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Outcry over civilian deaths in Afghanistan

Saturday, February 04, 2012 - 01:56