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KABUL: Almost 3,000 Afghan police and soldiers have been killed in the last 12 months, nearly the same as the number of Nato deaths in Afghanistan in the last 11 years of war, Kabul said Wednesday.
In statistics marking the end of the lunar year, the interior and defence ministries said 2,983 security personnel — 1,800 police and 1,183 soldiers — lost their lives between March 2012 and March 2013.
According to the independent website, icasualties.org, 3,270 coalition troops, including 2,190 Americans, have died since the invasion started in late 2001.
Afghan police and soldiers have been set up and trained by Nato to take on increasing responsibility for security as Nato combat troops gradually withdraw from the country by the end of 2014.
Numbered at 330,000 and due to reach a target of 352,000, they have been increasingly targeted by Taliban insurgents fighting to evict the Western-backed administration in Kabul.
“It is a pity but understandable why we have witnessed such a huge loss of life and increase in ANSF (Afghan security force) casualties since they started taking responsibility from international troops,” said analyst Jawed Kohistani.
“Given the fact that there has not been any effective strategy from the Afghan defence or interior ministries to deal with Taliban guerilla warfare tactics, we can expect more loss of life,” he added. In 2012, 402 Nato members died in Afghanistan, the lowest number since 2008.
Meanwhile, a Polish soldier died when a mine exploded on a road in the southeast, Poland’s defence ministry said. Pawel Ordynski, 29, whose vehicle struck the mine in the province of Ghazni, is the 39th Pole to die in Afghanistan, the ministry said.
Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski said Poland would downsize its Afghanistan troops to 1,000 from 1,800 in October. Agencies