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Tue Feb 19, 2013, 04:26 AM

U.N. Report Shows Fewer Killings of Afghan Civilians, Suggesting Shift in War

Source: NYT

For the first time in six years the number of civilians killed in Afghanistan declined, according to the annual United Nations report on civilian casualties.

The decline was primarily the result of the slowing pace of the war; more fighting by Afghan forces, who use less lethal weapons; and an assiduous effort by the Western-led forces to reduce the impact on civilians, the report indicated.

Nevertheless, threats remained rife: roadside bombings increased slightly, as did targeted killings and episodes of intimidation, the report said.

The report found that the number killed in 2012 dropped to 2,754 from 3,021 the previous year. The number of injured rose, however, to 4,805 from 4,507.

Read more: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/19/world/asia/un-reports-decline-in-killings-of-afghan-civilians.html

Meanwhile The Guardian in the UK has a more pessimistic tone: "Taliban targeting Afghan women and government workers, UN report finds".

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