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ISAF responds to Amnesty International report documenting civilian casualties in Afghanistan

ISAF responded Sunday to an Amnesty International report documenting civilian casualties from U.S./NATO military operations in Afghanistan.
By JC Finley   |   Aug. 11, 2014 at 7:31 PM   |   Comments

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KABUL, Afghanistan, Aug. 11 (UPI) -- NATO's International Security Assistance Force responded Sunday to the release of a new report by Amnesty International documenting civilian casualties from U.S./NATO military operations in Afghanistan.

According to the Amnesty International report, "None of the cases that we looked into -- involving more than 140 civilian deaths -- were prosecuted by the U.S. military. Evidence of possible war crimes and unlawful killing has seemingly been ignored."

In its response, ISAF maintains that it "thoroughly investigates all credible reports of civilian deaths and injuries when tactical circumstances allow, and conducts after-action reviews to determine the specific circumstances of each event."

ISAF did not comment on accountability measures or respond to allegations made by Amnesty of torture and killings undertaken in Nerkh and Maidan Shahr districts, Wardak province between November 2012 and February 2013.

ISAF instead pointed to a decline in civilian casualties, noting that the "significant decrease" was recognized in both the July 2014 U.N. Assistance Mission in Afghanistan's Protection of Civilians in Armed Conflict report and by Amnesty International.

In order to prevent civilian casualties, ISAF wrote that it "takes steps to minimize the risk to civilians during military operations and works with our Afghan partners to do the same."

Over the past year, ISAF reported a 77 percent decrease in civilian casualties.

ISAF concluded its response to Amnesty's report by stating that "Coalition forces constantly coordinate efforts with the international community and the United Nations (UN) to identify areas for improvement in processes and systems."

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