Kids Safer in Kabul Than NYC: NATO Official

Top envoy claims children in Kabul also safer than in London, Glasgow
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 22, 2010 7:07 AM CST
Kids Safer in Kabul Than NYC: NATO Official
Afghan boys on the outskirts of Kabul play inside a destroyed tank left over from the 1979-1989 Russian invasion on May 2, 2010 in Afghanistan.   (Getty Images)

Seventy-four children were killed by bombs or suicide attacks in Afghanistan during the first half of this year—but even so, a NATO's senior civilian envoy to the country claims that "children are probably safer here than they would be in London, New York, or Glasgow or many other cities." Mark Sedwill made the comments while filming a Children's BBC program airing today. In response to kids living in Kabul who talked about feeling unsafe, he said, "Here and in Kabul and the other big cities, actually, there are very few of those bombs."

"It's a very family-orientated society, so it is a little bit like a city of villages," he continued. A rep from aid group Save the Children called the remark "daft," since "one in five children die before they get to the age of five." Reuters reports a number of statistics that fly in the face of Sedwill's claim: 1,795 children died as a result of the war between September 2008 and August 2010; Afghanistan's infant mortality rate is the highest in the world; UNICEF says the country is the most dangerous one to be born in. He later admitted his comment "wasn't very well put" and said he was trying to explain that certain cities in Afghanistan, like Kabul, are safer than others.
(More Kabul stories.)

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