KABUL (Reuters) - Civilian casualties caused by NATO forces hunting insurgents are a major source of friction between the Afghan government and its Western backers - all the more so after a lone U.S. soldier gunned down 16 Afghan villagers at the weekend.
Here is a breakdown of payments by major NATO allies.
With 90,000 troops in Afghanistan, the United States pays up to $2,500 for civilian deaths and payments above that figure are rare. U.S. special forces, however, make no disbursements, but rely on other local U.S. or Afghan forces. Field commanders have significant control over payouts and sometimes U.S. forces pay even if it is unclear who was to blame.
Britain has around 9,500 soldiers, mainly in volatile Helmand province. British forces have paid between $210 and $7,000 for deaths. From 2007-2010, London paid 1,142 claims totalling more than $1.2 million - about $100,000 was paid in total for injuries and $150,000 for deaths. The rest was for damages claims.
Berlin, with 4,700 troops in Afghanistan, has no set policy for giving assistance to civilians harmed in operations. In August 2008, Germany dished out $20,000 in cash and a car worth $5,000 to a family after its troops shot dead three family members at a checkpoint.
In May 2009, Italy gave out around $13,500 to a family of a 14-year-old girl killed at a checkpoint. Like Germany, Italian forces also do not have a standard policy for paying victims. It has almost 4,000 soldiers in the country, based mostly in the west, near the border with Iran.
Norway made a payment of $8,000 to a family of someone killed by its forces in 2009. Australia, the largest non-NATO troop contributer, disbursed around $120,000 for four incidents involving one or more deaths or injuries from 2001 through May 2009. Poland makes payments of up to $2,500. The Dutch, who have now withdrawn most soldiers, have paid about $475,000 for civilian losses from 2006 to 2010 and were responsible for at least 80 deaths and 120 injuries, mainly in southern Uruzgan.
SOURCE: A 2010 report by Campaign for Innocent Victims in Conflict (CIVIC)
Reporting by Jack Kimball; Editing by Rob Taylor and Ron Popeski