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International Forces Reject UN Afghan Report


The international forces in Afghanistan have rejected a UN committee's report that U.S. military forces in Afghanistan have killed hundreds of children in attacks over the last four years.

James Graybeal, a spokesman for the International Security Assistance Force, told RFE/RL's Radio Free Afghanistan that the concerns "are categorically unfounded."

He said, "equally unsubstantiated is their assertion that U.S. forces use indiscriminate force during their operations."

The Geneva-based UN Committee on the Rights of the Child says the casualties were "due notably to [a] reported lack of precautionary measures and indiscriminate use of force."

Meanwhile, Afghan President Hamid Karzai's spokesman confirmed the findings of the UN report. Aimal Faizi was cited in a release from the Afghan president's press office, saying children in particular had suffered in military operations.

Faizi claimed hundreds of children had died and been injured in attacks and air strikes conducted by U.S. forces in Afghanistan.

Faizi said, "It is a bitter fact that elders, women, and children have fallen victims in the war on terror."

He said Karzai has repeatedly emphasized the war on terror should not be fought in Afghan villages and towns and that the focus of the campaign should be on the "roots" of terrorism: the support structures, training, and equipping of camps outside Afghanistan.

The UN review on policies affecting children is conducted every four years, and its release came as U.S. policy on drone targeting and air strikes is under increased scrutiny in Washington.

With reporting by AP