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Thursday, January 7, 2010
Civilian deaths unleash emotions in Afghanistan - Yahoo! News
"KABUL – Thousands of Afghans shouting "Death to America!" protested the killings of children Thursday, the latest in a string of controversial cases in which international forces have been blamed for civilian deaths. U.S. Gen. Stanley McChrystal has ordered troops to use airstrikes judiciously and fire cautiously to reduce civilian casualties. Still, each new report of civilians killed unleashes raw emotions that highlight a growing impatience with coalition forces' inability to secure the nation. There are fears the problem could get worse with 37,000 U.S. and NATO reinforcements already starting to stream into the country as part of a military buildup. More civilians die at the hands of insurgents, yet any time innocent victims are killed, the Taliban wastes no time in blaming foreign troops. "Every time the Taliban kills civilians, nothing happens. There is no protest. There is nothing," said Hroon Mir, an independent political analyst in Kabul. "But whenever there are civilian casualties from NATO or Afghan forces, then there is a reaction." President Hamid Karzai has not been shy about denouncing the deaths — sometimes even before investigations can conclude whether civilians or militants were killed. In a meeting this week with political analysts, Karzai said he would speak out boldly on the issue at a conference on Afghanistan Jan. 28 in London."