Afghan civilian deaths rise, but NATO kills fewer

KABUL, Afghanistan — The number of civilians killed so far this year in Afghanistan has reached 1,074 as escalating violence is now the worst since the early months of the nearly 9-year-old war, an Afghan rights group said Monday.
However, the share of civilians killed by international forces is dropping — and the number dying in NATO airstrikes has halved — thanks to restrictive rules of engagement issued last year, the Afghanistan Rights Monitor said.
Despite speculation that newly arrived coalition commander Gen. David Petraeus would change the policy, which critics say increases danger to American and other foreign troops, a NATO spokesman reiterated over the weekend that would not happen.