Human Rights Watch issued the sobering news Monday that 2006 was the deadliest year in terms of civilian casualties in Afghanistan since the fall of the Taliban. Almost 700 deaths are linked to insurgent groups — and of that number about two-thirds resulted from suicide bombings — while 230 more have been chalked up to NATO-led troops.

L.A. Times:

The group blamed NATO-led coalition forces for an additional 230 civilian deaths in 2006, though estimates by some Afghan officials and human rights groups put the number much higher.

Human Rights Watch said the attacks on civilians by Taliban militants and other insurgents should be considered war crimes because they “intentionally targeted civilian objects that served no military purpose, including schools, buses or bazaars.”

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