Rights group urges US to respect laws of war to prevent Afghan civilian deaths

[JURIST] Human Rights Watch (HRW) [advocacy website] on Thursday called on the US government [press release] to make "fundamental changes to reduce civilian casualties" in Afghanistan after attacks last week reportedly left more than 140 civilians dead. HRW said that a review announced by chief of the US Central Command General David Petraeus [official profile] must result in "measures that genuinely minimize civilian loss of life." HRW called on the US to heed international laws of war, under which attacks cannot be indiscriminate or cause disproportionate civilian loss.
On Friday, US Marine Corps Commandant General James Conway said that the investigation will show [AP report] that the Taliban [JURIST news archive], not US air strikes, are responsible for the civilian deaths.

Afghanistan's Wolesi Jirga [official website], the lower house of the Afghan parliament, on Monday demanded that restrictions be placed on foreign forces to avoid further civilian casualties before recessing in protest of recent air strikes. Wolesi Jirga secretary Abdul Sattar Khawaasi said that parliament has given the government one week to come up with a plan to regulate US and other foreign troops [Reuters report]. Afghan President Hamid Karzai [BBC profile; JURIST news archive] also called for an end to US air strikes [CNN report] last week. US President Barack Obama's national security adviser retired Gen. James Jones told ABC Sunday that the US would not end air strikes [interview transcript].



 

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