Human Rights Watch slams Afghan insurgents

A new Human Rights Watch report, “The Human Cost,” accuses the Taliban, Hezb-e-Islami and other insurgent groups of war crimes in Afghanistan. Joanne Mariner, HRW’s terrorism and counter-terrorism director, said in a statement: “Suicide bombings and other insurgent attacks have risen dramatically since 2005, with almost 700 civilians dying last year at the hands of the Taliban and other insurgent groups. The insurgents are increasingly committing war crimes, often by directly targeting civilians. Even when they’re aiming at military targets, insurgent attacks are often so indiscriminate that Afghan civilians end up as the main victims.” (AlJazeera, April 16)

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  1. Amnesty International too
    London-based human rights group, Amnesty International, has accused the Taliban of increasingly targeting civilians. Resorting to abductions, beheadings and suicide attacks, the country’s religious leaders, government and health workers, teachers, as well as women’s rights activists, have all become prime targets for Taliban fighters. “Afghan civilians,” notes Amnesty’s senior director for research, Claudio Cordone, “are bearing the brunt of this conflict.” In its effort to instill fear among the population, he says, only the Taliban have adopted “a deliberate policy of targeting civilians.” A Taliban spokesperson, Zabullah Mujahid, has rejected this report as disinformation and Western propaganda. Security Briefs
    , April 19