KABUL (Reuters) – Police deaths in Afghanistan have doubled this year after withdrawing NATO forces handed security of the war-ravaged country to poorly equipped local troops with less frontline experience fighting Taliban insurgents.
Almost twelve years after coalition forces invaded Afghanistan, swathes of territory are firmly under Taliban control and Afghan troops are still heavily reliant on foreign air support, particularly in remote areas.
Their lighter vehicles make them particularly vulnerable to roadside bombs.
The Afghan government, anxious not to damage morale, has been reluctant to publish regular casualty numbers. It no longer publishes death tolls for the army.
However, in a speech on Monday the new Interior Minister Umer Daudzai revealed that 1,792 police have been killed since March, most of them by roadside bombs. The same number died in the preceding 12 months.