More than a Tally: Afghanistan

A Civilian population lost between the night raids, drone strikes, suicide bombings and targeted killings….Report from Reuters

In 2010, violence across Afghanistan was its worst since the Taliban were ousted by U.S.-backed Afghan forces in late 2001, with civilian and military casualties at record levels.  A total of 711 foreign troops were killed in 2010, the deadliest year of the war for the coalition, and at least 340 have been killed so far this year, according to independent monitor http://www.icasualties.org and figures kept by Reuters.  U.S. and European military commanders have claimed significant success against Taliban insurgents in the south over the past 18 months, mainly with the help of an additional 30,000 U.S. troops deployed in the Taliban’s southern heartland to fight a growing insurgency.

However the Taliban and other insurgents have shown an alarming ability to adapt their tactics and shift the focus of their attacks out of the south into the east and the once relatively peaceful north and west….There has been a series of high-profile attacks and assassinations in the north in the past couple of years as insurgents seek to demonstrate their reach beyond their traditional southern heartland.  The police chief of north Afghanistan, General Dawood Dawood, was assassinated in late May by a massive bomb in Takhar province that also killed the Takhar police chief.  In June, a suicide bomber killed at least four policemen at a memorial service for Dawood in Kunduz. The attack appeared to target the police chief of Kunduz province, Sameullah Qatra, whose predecessor was killed by a suicide bomber in March.

NATO soldiers killed as Afghan violence flares, Reuters, Aug. 4, 2011

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