Afghan security forces face heavy casualties

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In September alone, almost 800 security force members were killed in the line of duty in Afghanistan.

Following Tuesday’s deadly attack on Gardez City’s police headquarters in Paktia province, concerns have been raised over the rising number of casualties among Afghan security forces. 

In September alone, 480 Afghan army soldiers and almost 300 police force members were killed.

In most of the attacks that killed these security force members, the Taliban has seized uniforms and military equipment including weapons and vehicles.

The Taliban insurgents that detonated two vehicle bombs and stormed the police compound in Paktia on Tuesday used not only security force vehicles but were also dressed in security force uniforms.

Security organizations have meanwhile acknowledged that the intelligence units are failing to pick up information on such planned attacks.

The spokesman for the ministry of interior, Dawlat Waziri, said: “Attackers cannot enter a place easily; they come by the help of others. Some people have relations with them. Those who provide the ground for their attack. This trend must end.”

Each day, an average of 26 security force members are being killed in the country.

“Some activities have been done to prevent casualties but they are not sufficient. More work must be done,” said Waziri.

In most of the attacks, the military hardware killing security force members are weapons seized by the insurgents.

The Paktia attack was launched at about 9.30am on Tuesday morning when a Mazda truck, loaded with explosives, was detonated at the first gate of the police compound.

Then a Police Ranger and a Humvee entered through the area that had been blown open. Both vehicles were also loaded with explosives and were detonated – the Humvee detonated close to 303 Spinghar Zone building, which is believed to have killed the provincial police chief.

A Toyota Corolla – a fourth vehicle bomb – was also then detonated, at the scene of the first blast.  At least seven insurgents then stormed the compound and opened fire on security forces.

The shootout lasted for about five hours before the Afghan Commandos brought the situation under control.

Nawab Mangal, an MP, said: “I had shared this concern with the former minister of interior. I told him that Humvees are roaming freely here in Paktia and that he should eliminate them. But unfortunately, this was not done and the result was this incident.”

Questions have however now been raised against why government has not taken steps to find and destroy military vehicles that have been stolen by the Taliban during attacks on check posts in particular.

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