Medact has written to Bob Ainsworth
the Secretary of State for Defence regarding civilian deaths during recent operations in Afghanistan, specifically Operation Panther's Claw and the operation in Dehaneh in Helmand Province. According to the
commanders in the field three civilians were killed during Operation Panther's Claw. While any death is a tragedy, we of course welcome this low
estimate. However we have requested information as to how they arrived
at this figure given the density of the population and the type of
operation.The attack on Dehaneh also involved air strikes and it is very unclear how these could in any way have been targeted away from civilians. Minimising the number of civilian deaths and injuries is crucial - for the people of Afghanistan, for the safety of our troops, and under international humanitarian law. We need to understand how civilian casualties are being estimated and the meaures being taken to prevent them.