Combatants(redirected from combatant)
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Related to combatant: Enemy combatant, noncombatant
the ones who are fighting; in international law, persons belonging to the armed forces of a warring side and directly engaged in combat action. Included as combatants are members of military militias, volunteer detachments, and resistance movements, as well as members of the population who have spontaneously taken up arms on the approach of an enemy. Participants in civil wars and wars of national liberation are considered combatants if they have a commander, bear arms openly, and observe the rules and customs of warfare in their actions.
Noncombatants include military journalists, supply and other service personnel, military law and medical personnel, and worker teams. Noncombatants are protected by the rules and customs of war if they have identification issued by appropriate military authorities. Violating the rules concerning combatants and noncombatants is considered an international crime, and persons guilty of such violation are looked upon as war criminals.