Afghan War Casualty Report: Dec. 14-20

The following reports compile all significant security incidents confirmed by New York Times reporters throughout Afghanistan. It is necessarily incomplete as many local officials refuse to confirm casualty information. The toll here does not generally include claims of insurgents killed by the government, because of the difficulty of verifying such claims. Similarly, the reports do not include attacks on the government claimed by the Taliban. Both sides routinely inflate casualties of their opponents.

Afghan casualties finally dropped this week, with 45 security force deaths and 38 civilians killed, by rockets, airstrikes and an I.E.D. The reduced casualty rate reflected the normal reduction in the war’s tempo during the winter months, although that reduction had been much delayed. Once again, the preponderance of Taliban attacks was in the west and north of the country, typically with insurgents overrunning small outposts. Meanwhile, the Islamic State affiliate in Afghanistan has been quiet for some time now.

[Read the Afghan War Casualty Report from previous weeks.]

Dec. 20 Herat Province: four civilians killed

A mortar went off in Chesht District, killing four civilians and wounding three others.

Dec. 20 Faryab Province: eight security forces killed

The Taliban captured an outpost in Qaisar District, killing six soldiers and two police officers and wounding 11 others in the process.

Dec. 20 Baghlan Province: three local police killed

A local police commander’s house was attacked by the Taliban in Dahan-e-Ghori District. The commander, Salim Koji, and his two bodyguards were killed and four other bodyguards were captured.

Dec. 19 Zabul Province: three soldiers killed

The Taliban attacked an army checkpoint in Arghanbad District. Three soldiers were killed and two others were wounded. The Taliban tried to take the control of the checkpoint, but they were pushed back.

Dec. 18 Faryab Province: six security forces killed

Four commandos and two pro-government militia members were killed in an attack by the Taliban in Gorziwan District.

Dec. 16 Badghis Province: eight soldiers killed

Eight members of the Afghan army were killed and 10 more were wounded in a Taliban attack in Malmanji area — 15.5 miles from Qala-i-Naw, the provincial capital. They called for reinforcements, but none were sent. The army fled the area and the Taliban set fire to two military Humvees.

Dec. 16 Kandahar Province: seven border police killed

The Taliban attacked a border police checkpoint in Shurabak District, killing seven police officers and wounding three others.

Dec. 16 Paktia Province: three civilians killed

Three members of one family were killed when their home was hit by a rocket in the Abrahim Khail area of Gardez, the provincial capital. Four family members were also wounded. The incident happened when the Taliban attacked a convoy of Afghan security forces and fired a rocket that hit the home.

Dec. 16 Daikundi Province: three police killed

The Taliban attacked Patoo District, killing three police officers and wounding three more, but were unable to capture the district.

Dec. 15 Ghazni Province: three civilians killed

A roadside mine exploded in the Hotqul area of Jaghori District, killing three civilians and wounding three others. The mine targeting Afghan security forces, but it exploded when a civilian car was passing. It was reportedly the first such incident in Jaghori District since 2001.

Dec. 15 Jowzjan Province: six security forces killed

The Taliban attacked two police outposts on the Sar-e-Pul highway, killing two police officers and four pro-government militia members, including their commander, and wounding three other pro-government militia members.

Dec. 14 Balkh Province: four civilians and one militiamen killed

A Taliban fighter opened fire on a funeral ceremony in Dawlat Abad District, killing four civilians and one pro-government militia commander, Mawlavi Akhtar. He had previously been a member of the Taliban, but he joined the Afghan security forces two years ago.

Dec. 14 Helmand Province: four civilians killed

A civilian vehicle was targeted by an airstrike in Sangin District, killing four civilians. Officials confirmed the incident, but refused to give details.

Dec. 14 Kunar Province: 20 civilians killed

During an airstrike in Shiltan District, eight women and 12 children were killed and 15 more civilians were wounded. The Afghan government said that a delegation has been sent to the area and an investigation is ongoing.

Reporting was contributed by the following New York Times reporters: Rod Nordland from London; Fahim Abed from Kabul; Najim Rahim from Mazar-e-Sharif; Taimoor Shah from Kandahar; Farooq Jan Mangal from Khost; Mohammad Saber from Herat; and Zabihullah Ghazi from Jalalabad.

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