Victims of war

[The Economist]

The governments of Sri Lanka and Israel both deny any intention to hurt civilians, but critics allege that civilian deaths were not incidental to recent fighting but represented, at the least, a lack of care for non-combatants and, at worst, a form of collective punishment for those suspected of sympathising with militants. Elsewhere deliberate attacks on civilians have proven to be an appalling, if relatively effective, method of warfare. In eastern Congo competing militias, largely representing rival ethnic groups (notably Hutus and Tutsis) and governments (of Congo itself and of neighbouring Rwanda), have attacked, mutilated and displaced civilians as a means of getting control of mineral-rich territory.

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