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Last Updated: Tuesday, 21 August 2007, 05:16 GMT 06:16 UK
More Afghans 'to flee' conflict
Afghan family at home near Kabul
The UN warns that more Afghans will be forced to flee
The United Nations has warned that more and more Afghan civilians will be forced to flee their homes, if the conflict in Afghanistan continues.

UN envoy Walter Kaelin said everyone involved in the fighting had to do more to protect civilians in Afghanistan.

He singled out the Taleban for systematically breaking international humanitarian laws.

Tens of thousands of Afghans have already had to flee their homes this year alone.

There has been a sharp rise in civilian deaths in Afghanistan in the continued fighting in the south and east of the country.

Earlier this month, about 50 Afghan civilians were wounded in an air strike by US-led forces on a group of Taleban leaders holding a meeting in Helmand province.

In July, the US ambassador to the UN, Zalmay Khalilzad, described the killing by security forces in Afghanistan of more than 300 civilians as "unfortunate".

He said American and other international troops did their best to avoid hitting civilians.

Afghanistan's President, Hamid Karzai, recently warned Western troops against treating Afghan lives cheaply.

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