Taliban vow to keep killing government officials, others group considers not to be civilians

A Taliban spokesman says the group will keep targeting government employees and other Afghans with links to the U.S.-led coalition despite a warning from the United Nations that such killings may violate international law.

Zabiullah Mujahid says in an email to media on Thursday that the Taliban reject a report earlier this week by the U.N. Mission in Afghanistan accusing them of targeting civilians and blaming the insurgency for the overwhelming majority of deaths in the war.

Mujahid says the Taliban do not consider their targets to be civilians.

The U.N. report found that 2,754 Afghan civilians were killed in 2012, a 12 percent decrease from 3,131 in the same period a year earlier. It was the first time in six years that the civilian death toll dropped.