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Debatten om Afghanistan bør ta inntrykk av FNs siste statistikk over sivile tap og skader: De regjeringsfiendtlige kreftene sto for 76 prosent og de regjeringsvennlige for bare 12 prosent. Det er en voldsom økning for Taliban, og nedgang for regjeringen/ISAF.

Talibans drap og skader på sivile gjorde et stort hopp fra 53 prosent til 76 prosent. Det vitner om en langt mer brutal krigføring. I all diskusjonen om hvordan krigen går, bør dette noteres: Taliban fører krig også mot sivilbefolkningen.

ISAF og regjeringshærens sivile tap falt fra 30 til 12 prosent. Det skyldes hovedsakelig at tapene ved flyangrep har gått kraftig ned.

Krigsmotstanderne snakker hele tiden om hvor brutal krigen er, og at den koster sivile tap. Det er altså Taliban som står for brutaliteten. Hva indikerer det om Afghanistans fremtid hvis ISAF skulle trekke seg ut?

Det går verst ut over barna. Dødelig utgang og skader på barn gikk opp hele 55 %.

Hvor mye kommer debatten til å bli preget av denne statistikken, som er helt ødeleggende for Taliban?

Civilian casualties have risen by 31 percent in the first half of 2010, the United Nations mission in Afghanistan said on Tuesday, a much sharper rise than that estimated by an independent Afghan human rights body.

The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) said in its mid-year report that 1,271 civilians had been killed in conflict-related incidents in the first six months of 2010.

The Taliban and other insurgents, described in the report as «anti-government elements» (AGEs) were responsible for 76 percent of the 2,477 deaths and injuries suffered by civilians in the period, up from 53 percent in 2009.

Deaths and injuries among children attributed to such «AGEs» were up 55 percent from 2009, the report said.

«Afghan children and women are increasingly bearing the brunt of the conflict,» said Staffan de Mistura, the special representative of U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon.

«They are being killed and injured in their homes and communities in greater numbers than ever before,» he said.

Civilian casualties caused by U.S. and other foreign forces have long been a source of friction between the Afghan government and its Western backers.

The U.N. report found that casualties attributed to «pro-government forces» fell to 12 percent, down from 30 percent. This was attributable mainly to a 64 percent fall in the number of deaths and injuries caused by aerial attacks.

The Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission on Sunday put the number of civilian deaths over the first seven months of the year at 1,325, what it said was a rise of about six percent over the same period in 2009.

Mirroring the United Nations, it said about 68 percent of those deaths were caused by insurgents and about 23 percent by Afghan and international forces.

With anger rising over civilian casualties, General Stanley McChrystal, the former commander of U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan, last year issued a new tactical directive to limit the use of air strikes after a spate of deadly incidents involving civilians.

That directive has been tightened even further since General David Petraeus replaced McChrystal in June. (Reuters)

U.N. report says Afghan civilian toll up 31 percent