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Monday, 12 August, 2002, 13:35 GMT 14:35 UK
Your questions on the war
As the war in moves into its final stages, what is the key question you want answering?

Each day we will find the answer to your question about the war in Afghanistan.

This debate is now closed. Read a selection of your comments below.

Friday 21 December

Andy Ortiz from Japan asks:
What is the total number of dead, wounded and displaced by the current war in Afghanistan?

Tamara Kovacevic, Senior Analyst, BBC Research writes:

The figures of civilian casualties of this war are still very speculative. Marc Herold, a US economics professor at the University of New Hampshire, who carried out the first independent study into civilian deaths, estimates that at least 3,767 Afghan civilians were killed by US bombs between 7 October and 10 December. This estimate does not include those who were killed during the past 11 days nor those who died from mines, cold or hunger.

The total figure of those who were injured is also likely to be at least in the thousands. The number of Taleban soldiers killed in the air strikes is impossible to verify, but some analysts believe, on the basis of previous experience of the effects of carpet bombing, the number could be higher than 10,000.

Eight foreign journalists and eight US Special Operations Forces soldiers were also killed. 52 US soldiers have been seriously injured. The number of Afghan refugees who fled to Pakistan and Iran as a consequence of the war is estimated at around 200,000. Another 1.4 million Afghans are internally displaced. Although it is not clear whether they were displaced as a direct consequence of the US war against the Bin Laden network, the UN refugee agency believes that many of them were.

Tuesday 18 December

Con from the USA asks:
Special Forces and U.S. Marines, what's the difference?

In a November article in Jane's World Armies, editor Charles Heyman writes:

There is confusion over what constitutes a Special Forces soldier and a real problem is the way in which different countries classify their Special Forces. In general terms, real Special Forces include the US Delta Force, Green Berets and Navy Seals, plus the UK SAS and SBS (Special Boat Service).

Other highly trained soldiers such as the US Rangers and the UK's Royal Marine Commandos do not really fall into this category, although they do have soldiers who have special skills and can undertake more difficult and arduous operations than other soldiers.

This is not for one second to downgrade the superb skills and specialist military operations that some of these formations are capable of.

However, their selection process is different from that of the Special Forces and in general terms they are organised and equipped for much larger-scale operations.

Taking orders

British Marines

South Asia support

Weapons of war

Symbol of terror

Out of the faith

Right man...

Taleban ammunition


Northern Alliance

Taleban or Taliban?

"Daisy Cutter" bomb
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