"The UN reported on Monday that in the first six months of 2010, the number of civilian deaths and injuries rose 31%, with the majority (76%) caused by insurgents. Suicide attacks and IEDs against the military killed most of these civilians, who were innocent bystanders. Insurgents are also increasingly turning to assassinations and intentionally targeting the local population, particularly in southern Afghanistan. They may not be as deadly in terms of number of casualties caused but, in many ways, they are equally harmful to humanitarian and strategic interests in Afghanistan.Read the rest of the article in "The vicious calculus of insurgency", The Guardian, August 13, 2010.
Insurgent assassinations and kidnapping skyrocketed across Afghanistan in the first part of 2010, from just over three per week in the first half of 2009, to an average of 18 civilians assassinated per week in May and June 2010, according to the UN. Southern Afghanistan has been the most affected by these threats, as US and Nato promises of more troops and operations triggered greater attacks and intimidation by insurgent forces."