Extent of Afghan civilian toll at hands of British revealed

5th October 2011, Comments 0 comments

At least 30 Afghan civilians, including women and children, have been reported killed in incidents involving British forces since 2005, British military documents revealed Wednesday.

The Royal Military Police (RMP) has probed almost 100 incidents in which it was claimed that British troops injured or killed Afghan civilians, documents obtained by the Guardian newspaper under the Freedom of Information act showed.

Along with the 30 fatalities, it was reported that 42 civilians were injured between January 2005 and March this year in incidents ranging from shootings and bombings to traffic accidents.

An MoD spokesman said: "The protection of the Afghan civilian population is at the core of our military strategy.

"The International Security Assistance Forces (Isaf) have worked extremely hard to reduce civilian casualties, introducing new rules to govern the use of force. And we have had considerable success.

"However, the vast majority of civilian casualties are caused by the Taliban.

"When we are made aware of an incident or alleged incident, the UK follows the robust Isaf process to investigate it."

Britain has around 9,500 troops in Afghanistan, making it the second-largest contributor to the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force.

They are mainly based in Helmand, battling Taliban insurgents and training up local security forces.

© 2011 AFP

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