Sunday, October 07, 2018

17 Years to the Day the U.S. Invaded, 54 Are Killed Across Afghanistan - nytimes

KABUL, Afghanistan — At least 54 people have been killed across Afghanistan in the past 24 hours, according to a tally based on interviews with officials on Sunday — 17 years to the day American forces invaded the country to topple the Taliban regime.

The violence was a reminder that the war has only raged deadlier with time, taking a toll on both the Afghan security forces and the civilians caught in the crossfire. On average, the conflict has taken the lives of 30 to 40 Afghan forces and at least 13 civilians a day. There are no tangible signs of momentum for peace talks with the Taliban.

Among the killed were at least 35 members of Afghan security forces and 19 civilians. While most of the fatalities of the security forces came from Taliban attacks, residents and local officials said a majority of the civilian casualties in the past 24 hours had resulted from two episodes of firing by government forces in central Afghanistan and an airstrike in the country’s east that they said was carried out by the United States. American forces denied they had carried out a strike in the area.

A large number of Taliban fighters were also killed in attacks that Afghan officials said they had carried out in 14 of the country’s 34 provinces. But the toll was difficult to verify; analysts estimate Taliban casualties usually number about the same as Afghan forces, if not more because of the airpower used against them.

American airstrikes in support of the Afghan forces have increased in recent months, as the government’s security forces have struggled to hold the line against the Taliban. Publicly available data from the United States military show that 746 bombs were dropped in July, and 522 in September. The Afghan air force has also conducted an increasing number of airstrikes. - Read More


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