AT-KABUL: The Ministry of Defense (MoD) on Wednesday rejected reports that stated the Afghan National Army (ANA) soldiers were facing a decline in personnel as a result of mass desertions and casualties, but admitted that a 3.5 percent decline had occurred in the army due to several reasons.
The Special Inspector General for Afghan Reconstruction (SIGAR) reported on Tuesday that the ANA troops were facing a decline in personnel due to mass desertions and casualties.
The report said that around 1,300 soldiers lost their lives and 6,200 were wounded between 2013 and 2014, adding that nearly 40,000 personnel have deserted.
The MoD said in a statement that a 3.5 percent decline had occurred in the army ranks for various reasons, but rejected reports on desertions.
The MoD said they were struggling to cope with the issue of decline in ANA ranks.
The source said: “When some of our personnel go on vacation and cannot come back on time, the reports mention them as deserters.” It added that casualties during wars were normal.