US, Afghan Govt Each Claim Massive Taliban Tolls

100 Killed in Nuristan, Another 100 Killed in Helmand

Claims of massive numbers of Taliban killed are often made by both the Afghan government and the international forces, but there was a bit of confusion today as both Afghan and US forces claimed to have killed 100 Taliban, but on opposite sides of the country.

Pointing to this weekend’s deadly attack on a pair of US outposts that left eight US soldiers dead and 13 Afghan police kidnapped in Nuristan Province in a four hour gunbattle, the US claimed a detailed assessment revealed that they had killed “over 100” Taliban in their “well-coordinated defense.”

At the same time, Afghanistan’s commander for the south-western portion of the nation said a Taliban ambush in Helmand Province, entirely the opposite side of the nation, sparked a one hour gunbattle that left an improbably large number, again “more than 100” Taliban slain and 10 Afghan soldiers killed.

The ability to verify the death tolls in the remote and dangerous hinterlands of Afghanistan are virtually impossible, and the number of “militants” killed are often remarkably high for sparsely populated regions. However if all the kill reports were taken at face value, one would have to assume the coalition forces would have killed all the suspected Taliban in the nation several times over by now.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.