British forces have paid compensation for the deaths of 64 children in Afghanistan, a much higher death toll than previously acknowledged by the country, according to a new report by a United Kingdom-based charity.
Between 2006-14, there were 64 confirmed child victims in Afghanistan, where the British military paid compensation, although the number of children killed could be as high as 135, according to data exclusively obtained by Action on Armed Violence (AAOV).
According to AAOV, an analysis of these compensation payments shows that, between April 2007 and December 2012, there were 38 incidents involving 64 confirmed child fatalities where the relatives of the children were paid compensation following UK military engagements.
These incidents specifically involved the mention of a child or the listing aged under 18, the report added.
The London-based group said the average age of a child killed during British military operations, where an age was given, was six years old. An age was given in some 27 recorded and compensated deaths.
“In September of the same year, an 18-month-old girl was also killed in Nad-e Ali, a district in Helmand Province, Afghanistan. Both were killed alongside their mother or ‘father’s wife’; just over 3,000 pi was paid for their deaths,” the group said.
The total pay-out for the incidents involving confirmed child fatalities was £144,593, although this total includes other adults killed.
Iain Overton, Executive Director of Action on Armed Violence, said of the findings: “The number of children killed following British military action in Helmand should give pause for thought. War invariably leads to death and modern war will always bring civilian casualties, but not reporting on such deaths – however much it might be a source of regret and horror to the soldiers involved in the killings and however accidental such deaths were – would be an omission of responsibility and an erosion of truth.”
“This report hopes to give some details to the often-forgotten children killed in war and, in some way, to send a warning to future Westminster politicians who might consider sending troops into battle,” Overton added. (ANI)