Afghanistan Live Blog
Taliban deny UN civilian casualty figures
The Taliban have denied a United Nations report that finds them and other armed groups responsible for the majority of civilian casualties in Afghanistan.
In an English-language email on Thursday, Zabiullah Mujahid, a Taliban spokesman, said the annual report by the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan, UNAMA, "does not bear impartiality".
Mujahid discounted the report's figure that 81 per cent of the 2,754 casualties in 2012 were caused by the Taliban and other armed groups. He said the group has only been actively targeting members of the Afghan government:
No Afghan can accept that the above mentioned people are civilian. We have pledged in the beginning of our yearly operations that these people are criminals. They are directly involved in the protraction of our country's invasion and legally we do not find any difficulty in their elimination, rather we consider it our obligation ... [The enemy] want to defame our effective resource.