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Civilians Killed During Offensive in Afghanistan: Human Shields or Unfortunate Targets?

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The narrative was set up from the beginning: the U.S.-NATO offensive in Marjah, Afghanistan would be one where not killing civilians would be at the forefront of conversation as major players in the conflict in Afghanistan, news organizations, and the people of Afghanistan and the world paid attention to the offensive. It was only a matter of time before military leaders and politicians began to trumpet a charge commonly heard from occupiers, that the enemy is using civilians as "human shields."

BBC News recently reported:

Gen Ghori, the senior commander for Afghan troops in the area, accused the Taliban of taking civilians hostage in Marjah and putting them in the line of fire.

"Especially in the south of Marjah, the enemy is fighting from compounds where soldiers can very clearly see women or children on the roof or in a second-floor or third-floor window," he is quoted by Associated Press as saying.

"They are trying to get us to fire on them and kill the civilians."

As a result, his forces were having to make the choice either not to return fire, he said, or to advance much more slowly in order to distinguish militants from civilians.

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Kevin Gosztola is managing editor of Shadowproof Press. He also produces and co-hosts the weekly podcast, "Unauthorized Disclosure." He was an editor for OpEdNews.com

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