90% of seized ‘Taliban’ are just civilians: US report

Press TV

June 13, 2011

Following the release of figures intended to portray an American success in Afghanistan, a US military report shows that almost 90 percent of Afghans “captured” as Taliban militants were actually civilians.

Back in December 2010, US commander General David Petraeus claimed that during the previous six months a total of 4,100 Taliban rank and file had been captured and 2,000 had been killed, only to be revealed that nearly 90 percent of those captured had been civilians, Inter Press Service reported.

Another set of misleading figures that was circulated claimed that US Special Operations Forces had captured 1,355 rank and file Taliban militants, killed 1,031, while having killed or captured 365 middle or high-ranking Taliban members through May and July of the same year.

The figures were released for media publicity and intended to reverse the US reputation over its losses in war-torn Afghanistan.

The report indicates that even more detainees were released from the US detention facility at Bagram airbase, also known as the Detention Facility in Parwan, after their files were reviewed by a panel of military officers.

Although the number of Taliban deaths claimed by the US is impossible to double check, the number of detainees can be monitored, as detainees can only be held in a Forward Operating Base for 14 days before being released or sent to long-term detention.

The death toll of the US-led forces in 2010 stood at 711, making the year the deadliest on record for foreign forces in Afghanistan since the start of the US-led invasion in 2001.

NATO has admitted that the power of militants in Afghanistan is on the rise despite the presence of nearly 150,000 US-led forces in the war-ravaged country.

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