Moral Outrage
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More than half of all Afghan children killed are by NATO strikes

The United Nations anounced that 346 children were killed in Afghanistan last year, more than half of them by NATO forces, mostly in airstrikes.

Radhika Coomaraswamy, the special representative of the UN secretary general for children and armed conflict, said 131 children were killed in airstrikes, while 22 were killed in nighttime raids by international special forces.

More than 2,400 civilians were killed last year, the deadliest for Afghan civilians since the fall of the Taliban regime in late 2001, according to the UN.

Coomaraswamy said she met with NATO commander in Afghanistan US General Stanley McChrystal, who assured her that troops “will work with the UN to ensure better protection for children.”

Sarah Chayes, a former NPR radio correspondent (who lived for years in Kandahar) now on Gen. Stanley McChrystal’s staff told CNN that she sees increasing frustration in the Afghan public over the killing of civilians by NATO and US strikes.

Pajhwok News Agency reports that the Afghanistan senate deplored the foreign airstrikes that killed 21 innocent civilians in the province of Daikundi on Sunday, and demanded that NATO avoid any repetition of this sort of error. Some senators went farther, demanding that NATO or US military men responsible for the deaths be executed. Senator Hamidullah Tokhi of Uuzgan complained to Pajhwok that the foreign forces had killed civilians in such incidents time and again, and kept apologizing but then repeating the fatal mistake: “Anyone killing an ordinary Afghan should be executed in public.”

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