Although the Taliban lost nearly
3,000 of their fighters last year, the next most frequent casualty was Afghan
civilians. In 2006, the Taliban killed 669 civilians. Most frequently,
civilians died because of bomb attacks. There were 189 Taliban suicide and
roadside bombings last year, and these killed 492 civilians. Another 177
civilians were killed more deliberately, in ambushes or executions. Some of
these were people kidnapped, to force them to support the Taliban. Most of
these were released, after promising to cooperate. But those who refused, were
Over 200 civilians were killed during operations
involving Afghan and foreign troops. These were people caught in the crossfire.
Sometimes it was civilians in a compound, along with Taliban, when the place
was bombed. The Taliban would also use civilians for human shields, a tactic
that did not always work.
Although the Taliban are mainly interested in
killing soldiers and police, they managed to kill five times as many civilians.
This is largely because the Taliban have an easier time getting close to
security forces when there are a lot of civilians around. The Taliban don't
wear uniforms, and can blend in, until they open fire.
The Taliban thought that if they adopted terrorist
tactics used in Iraq, they would have more success. But somehow the Taliban
failed to realize that the terrorist tactics in Iraq don't work either. Far
more civilians are killed, that uniformed personnel, and the Iraqi population
has become more and more hostile to the Islamic terrorists. But the bombings
and dead civilians do attract media attention, and to a terrorist, this is
almost as good as killing soldiers or police.