Afghan Govt., U.S. military reject Brown University's report on civilian casualties


KABUL: Afghan Ministry of Defense (MoD) and the U.S.-led coalition forces in Afghanistan have rejected the Brown University findings that claimed 700 Afghan civilians were killed in airstrikes by the US and its allies last year.

The number of civilians killed annually in the strikes increased by 330 percent from 2016 to 2019 as the U.S. escalated attacks on the Taliban, according to the Costs of War Project at Brown University.

Airstrikes killed 700 civilians last year — the highest yearly toll since the war began in 2001-02 — with the Afghan Air Force now “harming more Afghan civilians than at any time in its history,” said Neta C. Crawford, co-director of the project.

The report has noted an increase in Afghan forces’ airstrikes since the US-Taliban agreement signed on February 29.

However, the spokesman for the Afghan Ministry of Defense (MoD) rejected the report’s findings, blaming the Taliban for most of the civilian casualties adding that the security forces are guardians of the people and the insurgents use civilians as human shields.