Watchdog: U.S. reconstruction in Afghanistan cost Thousands of Lives

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According to a U.S. watchdog, reconstruction and stabilisation activities in Afghanistan have left 5,135 people killed or injured.

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The U.S. Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) released a report titled “The human cost of reconstruction” in the war-ravaged country.

The incidents happened during a period of 17 years from 2002 through 2018.

“The total reconstruction-related casualties include 2,214 killed and 2,921 wounded,’’ SIGAR said.

The survey also identified 1,182 individuals who were either kidnapped or went missing.

It included casualties that happened during security-related activities like training and mentoring Afghan security forces (818 casualties).

It also included casualties during governance and development activities (4,060) like road and infrastructure construction, or improvement of local governance and humanitarian activities, such as providing health and education services (257).

“More than 70 per cent of those killed or injured and about 86 per cent of those kidnapped are Afghans, mostly civilians.

“Furthermore, at least 284 U.S. nationals, the majority in uniform, 100 coalition soldiers, and 124 third-country nationals, civilians other than Americans and Afghans, were killed in Afghanistan while performing reconstruction or stabilisation missions,’’ the report said.

Data collected by SIGAR shows that the majority of casualties occurred during the height of the reconstruction efforts between 2008 and 2011.

The figures do not include casualties that occurred during combat missions unrelated to reconstruction, or during attacks on Afghan government or military sites.

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