Skip to main content

Afghan police deaths double as international troops exit

By Masoud Popalzai and Ed Payne, CNN
September 3, 2013 -- Updated 1901 GMT (0301 HKT)
(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
September 23, 2014 -- Updated 1616 GMT (0016 HKT)
The U.S. and several Arab nations carried out airstrikes against ISIS in Syria, intensifying the campaign against the militant group.
September 23, 2014 -- Updated 1218 GMT (2018 HKT)
Her friends were raped and her brother was killed by ISIS, but 15-year-old "Aria" managed to escape.
September 23, 2014 -- Updated 1058 GMT (1858 HKT)
Emma Watson lent her name and her glittery profile to the cause of feminism at the United Nations.
September 23, 2014 -- Updated 0106 GMT (0906 HKT)
From Gadhafi to Ahmadinejad, Bush to Chavez: look back at memorable moments from past UNGA sessions. Richard Roth reports.
September 23, 2014 -- Updated 0741 GMT (1541 HKT)
Just days after NASA's Mars orbiter reached the Red Planet, India's first mission could follow suit and make history.
September 23, 2014 -- Updated 1413 GMT (2213 HKT)
Khorasan, al Qaeda's new branch, seeks new ways to attack America and Europe.
Alibaba officially became the biggest initial public offering of all time, confirming that in the final tally it raised $25 billion.
September 23, 2014 -- Updated 0257 GMT (1057 HKT)
Do the Chinese really like to mix their Bordeaux with Coca-Cola?
September 23, 2014 -- Updated 0936 GMT (1736 HKT)
Cape Town native, Janine Davies is South Africa's first female rider to compete on a national level.
In the largely male-dominated world of the motorsport, South African super bike racer Janine Davies is an anomaly.
September 23, 2014 -- Updated 1130 GMT (1930 HKT)
The Lilongwe Wildlife Center houses over 200 animal victims and helps rehabilitate them back into the wild.
September 23, 2014 -- Updated 1052 GMT (1852 HKT)
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