Moral Low Ground

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Surge in Afghan Civilian Deaths Sparks Government Probe

Afghan government officials have headed to a remote tribal area in northern Afghanistan to investigate claims that NATO forces killed 64 civilians in ground and air strikes over the past several days, the Washington Post reports. Joint operations by Afghan forces and NATO troops operating in the Ghazi Abad district have been accused of killing the innocent civilians, which include 20 women and 29 children and young adults, according to Kunar province governor Fazlullah Wahidi and MSNBC. Dozens more civilians were wounded.

Civilian casualties during the nine-year long war in Afghanistan have long been a source of tension between the Afghan government of President Hamid Karzai and the NATO-led military forces that have been fighting the Taliban and al-Qaeda there. The rules of engagement for night raids and air strikes, two of the invaders’ tactics that have resulted in the most civilian deaths, have been tightened in recent years, leading to a drop in innocent deaths, but horrific accidents still happen with some regularity.

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