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Afghanistan: Civilians Streaming Into Hospitals With War Injuries

The US-led anti-insurgency campaign in Afghanistan's Kandahar province is taking a brutal toll on the local population. In the last year twice as many civilians have arrived at hospitals with war injuries as did in the year previously, The Guardian reports, citing numbers from the International Red Cross. The number of amputations due to war wounds has spiked dramatically, as well. And yet the situation is only "the tip of the iceberg" officials say, because while many injured civilians are indeed arriving at hospitals with mortar wounds caused by NATO aircraft or injuries from insurgent attacks--more are losing access to basic healthcare because they are cut off from aid by the fighting. "Our greatest challenge consists in maintaining access to the areas hardest hit by the fighting, but the increase in the number of armed groups is making this much harder for us," Reto Stocker, the Red Cross chief in Kabul, told the Guardian. "The result is that children die from tetanus, measles and tuberculosis – easily prevented with vaccines – while women die in childbirth and otherwise strong men succumb to simple infections." Read the full story here.
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