Afghanistan death toll soaring

THIS IS shaping up to be the bloodiest year on record since the US-led invasion of Afghanistan began in 2001.

The UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan recorded a total of 1445 civilian casualties in the first eight months of 2008, an increase of 39 per cent on to the same period in 2007.

Pro-occupation forces are reported to have been responsible for 577 civilian deaths in the first eight months of 2008 during military operations, up from 477 during the same period last year.

Anti-occupation forces have been responsible for 800 deaths as resistance to the occupation increases.

Three hundred and ninety-five civilians were killed in air strikes over this period. This sharp rise in bombing deaths comes as US and NATO forces increase air strikes on the border region with Pakistan, and into Pakistan itself.

The growing civilian death toll is matched by growing troop deaths, with troop deaths in June exceeding those in Iraq.

As the death toll in Afghanistan increases, Kevin Rudd and Barack Obama talk about putting more troops on the ground to fight this supposedly “good war”.

Opposition to the war also continues to rise—with a new poll showing 56 per cent of Australians want troops out of Afghanistan—and pressure on governments to withdraw troops grows.

By Ernest Price


Solidarity meetings

Latest articles

Read more

Banning the bomb—opposition to nuclear tests at Maralinga in the 1950s

As Australia became the test site for nuclear weapons in the 1950s, opposition developed through the unions and a new peace movement, writes Lucy Honan

Unions lead opposition to nuclear subs base in Port Kembla with...

Over 1000 people packed the streets of Port Kembla as unions, Labor Party members, anti-war activists and the local community marched to oppose plans for a nuclear submarine base.

Port Kembla no place for a nuclear subs base, say local...

Activists in Wollongong are organising against plans for nearby Port Kembla to host the East Coast base for the AUKUS nuclear submarines. Solidarity spoke to Alexander Brown from Wollongong Against War and Nukes about local opposition and how unions have dedicated this year’s May Day march to opposing the plan.