119 Killed, Mostly Afghan Troops, in Deadly Weekend Attacks

Heavy casualties reported in several places across Afghanistan

A Taliban attack in the Faryab Province has targeted a key police headquarters this weekend.  The HQ remains under siege, with at least 14 fighters killed, and 37 other members of the security forces having been captured. Other officials say the death toll could be over 30 as fighting continues.

It was a big attack, and getting worse. That’s been the news all weekend, as officials reported attacks in about 10 provinces per day. All told, 119 people have been reported killed, and 102 of them are members of Afghan security forces.

Beyond the large death toll, 196 security forces were reported wounded over the 48 hour period. The Defense Ministry also claimed 183 Taliban killed on Friday, and another 181 killed on Saturday.

Former Governor Ilyas Wahdat insisted that the Defense Ministry’s figures, particularly as it related to the Taliban, were not accurate. It is common for the Afghan figures to be disputed, and generally they exaggerate Taliban deaths to try to make losses look less one-sided.

It’s not clear that’s the case here, but the big problem either way is that many of these fights aren’t over. Hope continues to rise for a ceasefire, and these fights are a reminder how badly a deal is needed.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of Antiwar.com.