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 30, 2014 -- Updated 1550 GMT (2350 HKT)
Experts believe that ISIS may be using a Spanish enclave to bring jihad to Europe.
September 30, 2014 -- Updated 1300 GMT (2100 HKT)
With an efficient subway, inexpensive taxis and a good public bus system, Hong Kong is normally an easy city to navigate ...
September 28, 2014 -- Updated 2332 GMT (0732 HKT)
CNN's Ivan Watson was in the middle of a pro-democracy protest in Hong Kong when things got out of hand.
September 30, 2014 -- Updated 2012 GMT (0412 HKT)
The world's animal population has halved in 40 years as humans put unsustainable demands on Earth, a new report warns.
September 30, 2014 -- Updated 1249 GMT (2049 HKT)
Every day, refugees and migrants risk their lives as they seek a new life. Now, a new report puts a figure to the number of victims.
September 30, 2014 -- Updated 1442 GMT (2242 HKT)
Mainstream commentators must promote positive role models to Muslims feeling victimized, writes Ghaffar Hussain.
September 29, 2014 -- Updated 0613 GMT (1413 HKT)
Two men familiar with inside knowledge of ISIS speak with CNN's Arwa Damon.
Explore CNN's interactive that explains ISIS' roots, what it controls, and where its support comes from.
September 25, 2014 -- Updated 2010 GMT (0410 HKT)
In his first-ever interview as the Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani defended his country against allegations of funding terrorism.
September 27, 2014 -- Updated 1503 GMT (2303 HKT)
The North Korean leader hasn't been seen for weeks, leading to speculation that he is in poor health.
September 24, 2014 -- Updated 0154 GMT (0954 HKT)
Haider al-Abadi hopes airstrikes don't lead to "of another terrorist element" instead of ISIS.
September 25, 2014 -- Updated 1319 GMT (2119 HKT)
The United States couldn't do it on its first try. Neither could the Soviets.
September 24, 2014 -- Updated 1529 GMT (2329 HKT)
CNN's Nima Elbagir reflects on a harrowing trip to Liberia where she covered the deadliest Ebola outbreak in history.
September 26, 2014 -- Updated 1423 GMT (2223 HKT)
Contrary to public opinion, rats can actually save lives -- Apopo's rats have actually saved thousands.
September 30, 2014 -- Updated 1336 GMT (2136 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