Afghan children need better protection from air strikes

There is a need for a thorough review of procedures to ensure that children are not killed in air raids by international forces in Afghanistan.

Afghan children

Afghan children

That’s what the United Nations Special Representative for Children in Armed Conflict, Radhika Coomaraswamy said in a statement on Thursday.  Derrick Mbatha reports.

The United Nations Special Representative for Children in Armed Conflict, Radhika Coomaraswamy expressed serious concern that Afghan children are being killed in air strikes.

Early last year, the international forces introduced technical directives aimed to better protect civilians during air strikes.

Ms. Coomaraswamy says this had resulted in a significant decrease in the number of children killed by pro-government forces in 2010.

She welcomed an apology by General David Petraeus, the commander of international forces in Afghanistan, for the killing of nine children in an air raid in the eastern Kunar province a couple of days ago.

However, she called for a thorough review of procedures to ensure that all necessary precautions are taken to prevent children from becoming casualties in the complex and volatile situation in Afghanistan.

Derrick Mbatha at the United Nations.

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