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Afghan civilian toll topped 1,000 last year, group says

January 31, 2007|From the Associated Press

KABUL, AFGHANISTAN — More than 1,000 civilians were killed in Afghanistan in 2006, most of them as a result of attacks by Taliban militants and other anti-government forces in the country's unstable south, a rights group said Tuesday.

At least 100 of those deaths resulted from NATO and U.S.-led troop operations, Human Rights Watch said in a statement.

Including combatants, more than 4,400 Afghans died in the fighting, twice as many as in 2005 and more than in any other year since the United States helped oust the fundamentalist Taliban regime in late 2001, the group said.

An Associated Press tally based on reports from Afghan, North Atlantic Treaty Organization and coalition officials puts the overall death toll slightly lower, at about 4,000, most of them militants.

Human Rights Watch did not explain the methodology that it used to arrive at its casualty numbers.

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