Amnesty wants Taliban prosecuted for war crimes
The Taliban and other insurgent groups in Afghanistan should face prosecution for war crimes, human rights group Amnesty International said Tuesday.
It accused the Taliban of the "systematic" killing of Afghan civilians, adding that they were becoming "far bolder" in doing so.
The comments came after a United Nations report said the number of civilian casualties in the Afghanistan war rose by a third in the first half of 2010, accusing insurgents of killing seven times more civilians than international troops.
The report attributed the rising number of deaths in part to more frequent and sophisticated homemade bomb attacks and to a 95 percent increase in the number of civilians assassinated by insurgents.
"The Taliban and other insurgents are becoming far bolder in their systematic killing of civilians. Targeting of civilians is a war crime, plain and simple," said Sam Zarifi, Amnesty's Asia-Pacific director.
"The Afghan people are crying out for justice and have a right to accountability and compensation."
Meanwhile, Amnesty welcomed a reported 30 percent drop in the number of deaths caused by international forces but called for greater accountability.
"Pro-government forces were responsible for at least 223 deaths in six months and NATO still has no coherent way of accounting for casualties," Zarifi said.
"Special forces in Afghanistan are still failing to be open about their actions when being called to account over civilian casualties."
© 2010 AFP