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AT least 64 children were killed in British military operations in Afghanistan from 2006 to 2014 with an average of just £1,656 paid in compensation for each tragedy, figures show.
The findings published yesterday, obtained by charity Action on Armed Violence, found the total number killed over the period could be as many as 135.
The total fatality figures will only be a fraction of those killed by British forces, its report said, as the data only shows cases relating to successful compensation claims.
The Ministry of Defence (MoD) had previously released documents claiming there were just 16 confirmed child fatalities.
But Freedom of Information requests by the charity found the MoD had omitted a "notes" column its claims database, which reportedly contains information on hundreds of fatality compensation claims.
Murray Jones, who worked on the charity report, said it is “saddening and shocking that it has taken this long for the MoD to acknowledge these deaths publicly.”
Air strikes and crossfire were the two most commonly specified causes of death, raising questions about the rules of engagement used by British forces in Helmand province at the time, the report said.
The average age of children killed in British military operations was six, the charity found, while the youngest recorded victim was a one-year-old baby boy, killed in March 2009.
In one case British soldiers fighting in the area shot four Afghan children dead.
Their father submitted photo evidence of their deaths and was paid the equivalent of £4,224 — just over £1,000 per dead child.
A Stop the War statement said: “This report illustrates what anti-war campaigners feared: the war conducted by US, UK and allied troops created large numbers of civilian casualties.”
The MoD has been contacted for comment.
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