Afghanistan: More than 100 dead in bloody week
KABUL Ã¢â‚¬â€ More than 100 people including dozens of civilians were killed in violence related to Afghanistan’s ongoing war against the Taliban in the past week, authorities said Sunday.
The interior ministry registered about 144 insurgency-related incidents — mostly roadside bombs and militant ambushes — from April 11-18, spokesman Zemarai Bashary said.
A total of 117 people — 36 of them civilians, 20 policemen and more than 60 insurgents — were killed in the incidents, he told reporters.
Another 100 civilians, 39 police officers and more than a dozen rebels, were injured in the attacks, he said.
Most of the rebels were killed in an operation by Afghan and international forces against Taliban-linked militants in the restive northern province of Baghlan, he said.
In the same period, nine Western soldiers, part of the international military deployment under NATO and the United States, were killed, according to an AFP count based on the icasualties.org website which tracks coalition deaths.
NATO and the United States currently deploy 126,000 troops to fight the insurgents, with the number set to peak at 150,000 by August.
President Barack Obama has said he wants to start drawing down US troops from the middle of next year, so much of the new deployment is aimed at training the Afghan army and police force to take on responsibility for security.
Casualties among the police have long been high in comparison to the army, as they are often deployed as paramilitary forces in restive regions.
The interior ministry’s Bashary attributed the high police death toll to a lack of resources, including weapons.
“In some areas the Taliban weapons are better than those of the police,” he said.