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Afghan civilian deaths hidden

Newly leaked US military secret documents show how US-led forces in Afghanistan have killed or wounded hundreds of civilians in unreported incidents.

The documents leaked by the whistle-blower website WikiLeaks allege some of the casualties are caused by airstrikes, but a large number is the result of troops shooting unarmed drivers or motorcyclists in an effort to protect themselves.

The documents disclosed by The New York Times, Guardian newspaper and the German weekly Der Spiegel also detail many other disputed incidents involving civilian deaths that have been omitted from daily military reports.

The secret documents also link Pakistan to the militancy in Afghanistan. They detail links between the Taliban and Pakistan’s military and spy agency, the ISI.

According to some 90,000 leaked reports released by WikiLeaks, Pakistan “allows representatives of its spy service to meet directly with the Taliban in secret strategy sessions to organize networks of militant groups that fight against American soldiers in Afghanistan, and even hatch plots to assassinate Afghan leaders.”

Meanwhile, White House National Security Adviser Gen. Jim Jones denounced the leak as destructive for the US soldiers’ morale in the fight against the Taliban.

Jones hailed the “counter-terrorism cooperation” between US and Pakistan, adding the documents date back to a period from January 2004 to December 2009, during the administration of former US President George W. Bush.

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