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Afghanistan: Civilian Casualties

Volume 488: debated on Monday 23 February 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what steps UK forces are taking to minimise the number of civilian casualties in Afghanistan. (257897)

We deeply regret any incidents where civilians are killed as a result of actions by international forces. Procedures are in place, and being constantly updated in the light of experience, both to minimise the risk of these casualties occurring and to investigate any incidents that do happen. In addition troops undergo comprehensive individual and collective training before they go on operations. Significant resources and effort are put into understanding properly the operational environment, including details of the civilian population who wherever possible are warned of impending operations.

We should, however, remember that insurgents are the real threat to the safety and security of the Afghan people through their indiscriminate use of violence.