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Govt says offensive position causes troop casualties

AT News Report

KABUL: The government says that a change from defensive position to offensive has caused increase of casualties among security forces as army and police are experiencing a new chapter of war against terrorism by the beginning of the new year, which inflicted deaths and injuries to soldiers and police.

Intensive clashes between security forces and Taliban militants took place last week in the provinces of Helmand, Kunduz, Faryab, Ghazni and Badghis, with security forces reportedly suffering casualties.

Mohammad Zobair Aref, deputy defense ministry spokesman, on Monday confirmed clashes but rejected media reports regarding the number of casualties as baseless, claiming that unprecedented casualties were inflicted to Taliban fighters in the past three days.

“Casualties are not as high as reported by the media. Clashes are underway in several provinces, we have 10 killed and 13 wounded in Helmand province. As our forces have changed defensive position to offensive and this is a military principle that in this case, security forces suffer casualties, but the opposition groups have much more casualties than ours,” said Aref.

But lawmakers and provincial councils have said that 65 soldiers and police were killed in Taliban attacks on their outposts in the province’s district of Sangin.

Provincial officials also confirmed clashes in Sangin, but refused to provide details over the security forces casualties.

Taliban have claimed that their fighters have killed 52 soldiers and police while 31 more were injured in their attacks on in Sangin.

In last week’s clashes between Taliban and security forces in the Bala Morghab district of Badghis province, 50 troops were killed and another 80 were taken hostage by the militants, according to Abdullah Afzali, deputy head of provincial council.

In Kapisa province, Taliban attacked security forces, capturing the areas of Afghania, Pachaghan and Ghin Dara.

Attacks on security forces have intensified while Taliban have not yet announced their annual spring offensive.

Security analysts accuse the government of ignorance, saying that while Taliban get prepare in the winter for spring offensive, the government gets busy in peace efforts.

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