Far from the bright lights of Chicago where world leaders met to shape NATO’s exit from Afghanistan, one of the war’s victims, 12-year-old Aleema, sums up her life in three words: “It’s the worst.” Aleema, who has lived in a mud hovel in a refugee camp on the outskirts of Kabul for four years since her family fled fighting in southern Afghanistan, is one of the forgotten people of the NATO summit, which ended on Monday. There the focus was on the soldiers who fight the war: getting 130,000 NATO combat troops out by a fixed deadline of 2014 and finding funds to pay Afghan forces to continue the decade-long battle against Taliban insurgents. But civilians have borne the brunt of the war. More died in 2011 alone than the total number of NATO troops killed in 10 years.
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