I recently started a new campaign (using the vanilla steam distribution) and during a terror mission two civilians were killed by the explosion of a cyberdisk. These kills were (of course) attributed to XCOM. This got me thinking about the way the game determines who killed the civilian.
Is it simply based on the turn in which it happens? This could mean that grenade timing could be a way to mitigate negative effects. By setting the grenade to blow at the end of the alien turn the negative score would be lowered. The price of course being a reduced hit probability on the intended target as the alien might have moved.
This mechanism would also clear XCOM agents that fire in reaction to alien movement, which seems strange as it is quite clear that XCOM is to blame in that case. As a search of the forums and ufopaedia.org didn't answer my question, I decided to dust off my account and post instead of lurking the forums.