Skip to main content

Afghan police deaths double as international troops exit

By Masoud Popalzai and Ed Payne, CNN
updated 3:01 PM EDT, Tue September 3, 2013
(File) Afghan policeman stand guard at the site of a suicide attack in Kabul on July 2, 2013.
(File) Afghan policeman stand guard at the site of a suicide attack in Kabul on July 2, 2013.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Nearly 1,800 Afghan police lose their lives between March and August
  • Local forces say they need better weapons and armored vehicles
  • NATO and American combat forces plan to leave the country by the end of 2014

(CNN) -- Police deaths in Afghanistan have doubled this year after NATO forces handed over security responsibility to poorly equipped and poorly trained local security forces.

The country's new Interior Minister, Mohammad Omar Daudzai, said that 1,792 Afghan policemen had lost their lives and more than 2,500 had been injured since March. That's double the number of a year ago.

Roadside bombs planted by the Taliban and other insurgent groups inflict the most damage, according to Daudzai.

Afghan, NATO troops repel Taliban attack on U.S. base near Pakistan

Local police suffer because they lack modern weapons, armored vehicles and adequate training, he said. The security forces remain dependent on NATO air support during their operations.

On the front lines, the frustration is obvious. Security forces need better equipment.

"My job is to save the lives of my people," said Abdullah Khan, who mans a checkpoint in the city of Jalalabad. "That is not possible with a few AK-47 guns and the soft-skin Ford Ranger vehicle that I have."

He said it doesn't help that most of his officers are illiterate.

The situation illustrates the difficulties local forces face as NATO and American troops largely exit the county by the end of 2014.

The plan is to withdraw all combat troops but keep a residual force in the country to help train Afghans and carry out counterterrorism operations when needed.

Civilian casualties in Afghanistan up by nearly a quarter

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
updated 10:43 AM EDT, Tue October 28, 2014
A captured fighter tells CNN's Ivan Watson: "They gave us drugs... that made you go to battle."
updated 9:31 AM EDT, Wed October 29, 2014
A terminally ill woman who plans to take her own life checks off the last item.
updated 7:40 PM EDT, Thu October 30, 2014
In a plot straight out of Hollywood, federal agents gain access to a suspected Triad boss' Vegas hotel room by pretending to fix the Internet connection.
updated 12:34 AM EDT, Fri October 31, 2014
Was it only black and Latino men who harassed a woman in NYC? The filmmaker has found himself in a race controversy.
updated 11:17 PM EDT, Thu October 30, 2014
The history of human rights often overlooks the struggles of gay people. This must change.
updated 9:15 PM EDT, Wed October 29, 2014
Armed with Kalashnikovs and chanting for the dead comrades, women are among ISIS' most feared enemies. They are fighting for their families -- and now they are getting U.S. help.
updated 8:46 AM EDT, Tue October 28, 2014
Lere Mgayiya put his best foot forward and set up a shoe-shine firm after his career plans fell flat.
updated 1:28 AM EDT, Thu October 30, 2014
One Chinese drone manufacturer wants to take away the warmongering stigma of "drones."
updated 11:12 PM EDT, Wed October 29, 2014
Sketcher Luis Simoes is traveling the world -- slowly. And he's packed his sketchbook.
updated 4:43 PM EDT, Tue October 28, 2014
European states help North Korea's brutal treatment of its people by allowing luxury goods like cars and cognacs to evade sanctions, two experts say.
updated 11:45 PM EDT, Thu October 23, 2014
Chinese leaders want less odd architecture built in the country.
updated 7:06 AM EDT, Thu October 30, 2014
Each day, CNN brings you an image capturing a moment to remember, defining the present in our changing world.
Browse through images from CNN teams around the world that you don't always see on news reports.
ADVERTISEMENT