Wednesday, March 12, 2008

UN Says 2007 Worst Year Yet in Afghanistan

The United Nations says there was a dramatic worsening of the situation in Afghanistan in 2007. Some 8000 people were killed in the continuing conflict with the Taliban, 1500 of them civilians. That is the highest death toll recorded in the six years the United Nations has kept tabs on the international effort to reclaim the country from the harsh rule of the Taliban.

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has reported to the UN Security Council that there were, on average, 566 incidents per month. There were 160 suicide attacks; the deadliest of them was on 17 February 2008 in Kandahar Province when more than 67 people were killed in a single blast. Taliban insurgents killed the most civilians, but US and NATO forces also took many innocent lives in indiscriminate bombing and artillery attacks.

There have been increasing attacks on aid workers: over 130 incidents in 2007, involving the murder of 40 and the abduction of 89, of whom seven were later killed.

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