Afghan War Casualty Report: Nov. 23-29

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.

The death toll greatly increased this week among pro-government forces, to 89, a figure that includes five security contractors killed in a brazen attack on their base in Kabul, and three American Special Forces soldiers killed by a roadside bomb, the worst loss of American life in a year. Civilian deaths were 53, many of them from airstrikes — including 22 members of one family in Helmand Province.

[Read the Afghan War Casualty Report for Nov. 16-22, 2018]

Nov. 29 Kunar Province: four civilians killed

A coalition air and ground attack on the Islamic State in Chawkay District killed four civilians.

Nov. 29 Kabul: five security contractors, five civilians killed

A complex attack by the Taliban on a base of the multinational security company, G4S, in the capital city killed five employees of G4S, as well as five civilians, while wounding 19 others. At least one of the dead was reportedly a British citizen. A suicide bomb breached the base’s defenses and four attackers held out inside for 11 hours until they were finally subdued by police. Officials said there were 230 hostages among base employees, 36 of them Afghans and the rest foreigners. They hid in a safe room and all survived.

Nov. 28 Helmand Province: 22 civilians killed in airstrikes

Authorities said Taliban insurgents took refuge in a house in Kushti village of Garmsir District, drawing airstrikes that killed 22 family members and wounded three others. Among the dead were 12 children.

Nov. 27 Faryab Province: one soldier killed

Taliban insurgents attacked Shirin Tagab District, killing one Afghan army soldier and wounding one.

Nov. 27 Ghazni Province: three American soldiers, five Afghans killed

A roadside bomb exploded on a highway just outside of Ghazni City, flipping an MRAP carrying a team of American Special Forces soldiers. Three were killed and three others wounded; an American contractor was also wounded. It was the worst loss of life for the American military in Afghanistan in 2018, bringing the number of service members who died in combat to 12 this year. Four other coalition members have also died this year, and one American service member died in a non-combat-related incident.

In a separate incident, reported on Nov. 27, five Afghan National Army soldiers were killed in a Taliban attack in Moqur District a day or more earlier.

[Read: Three U.S. Soldiers Die in Afghanistan: Why This Fight Drags On]

Nov. 27 Sar-e-Pul Province: two police killed

Two local police officers were killed and two were wounded when the Taliban attacked a government building in Sayyad District.

Nov. 26 Bamian Province: two civilians killed

Two civilian protesters were killed and 10 wounded in clashes with the police over the arrest of a popular Hazara militia commander, Abdul Ghani Alipur, for vigilantism.

Nov. 26 Kabul: nine civilians killed

In protests over Commander Alipur’s arrest in Kabul, nine protesters were killed and more than 50 wounded. The unrest spread to Bamian and Balkh provinces, but died down after he was released on bail.

Nov. 26 Oruzgan Province: two civilians killed

Coalition airstrikes on a village where Taliban insurgents were hiding killed two civilians and wounded one other; authorities said 15 Taliban were also killed, including a local commander, Mullah Janan.

Nov. 26 Faryab Province: nine soldiers and one police officer killed

In an attack on an army outpost in Arikalik area of Qaisar District, nine Afghan National Army soldiers and one Afghan local police officer were killed. Two soldiers were also wounded. The attack began the night before and continued until the post fell to the insurgents.

Nov. 25 Farah Province: 23 police officers killed, including commanders

The newly appointed police chief of Joven District, Mohammad Iqbal, was escorted from the provincial capital of Farah city to his new post along with 27 police escorts. Taliban insurgents ambushed them on the way, killing chief Iqbal and 23 of the police with him, including a reserve battalion commander, Shahbaz Khan, and wounding five others. The wounded police pretended to be dead as Taliban finished off anyone who appeared to be alive. Police said the insurgents used armored cars in their attack, while the police were in unarmored vehicles.

Nov. 24 Kandahar Province: two soldiers killed in helicopter crash

An Afghan National Army helicopter crashed in Maruf District, killing two soldiers and wounding one other; the Taliban claim they shot it down, government officials blamed a mechanical fault.

Nov. 24 Helmand Province: two civilians killed

Two civilians were killed by crossfire from clashes between Taliban fighters and security forces in Shamlan area of Nadali District.

Nov. 23 Khost Province: 27 soldiers killed on their base

A bombing deep inside an army base in Afghanistan during Friday prayers at a mosque killed at least 27 Afghan National Army soldiers and wounded 79 others.

[Read about the bombing of a mosque on an ANA base.]

Nov. 23 Parwan Province: three civilians killed

During an operation in Jabal Saraj District by the National Directorate for Security, Afghanistan’s paramilitary intelligence service, a bomb accidentally killed three civilians and wounded three others, sparking protests in the area.

Nov. 23 Nangarhar Province: four civilians killed

The National Directorate of Security launched an operation in Khogyani District, an Islamic State stronghold, killing four civilians.

Nov. 22 Faryab Province: 11 government forces killed

In two separate attacks in the province, 11 government forces were killed, including soldiers, militias and local police. In Almar District, Taliban insurgents overran an outpost, capturing and later killing eight fighters, who were a mixture of pro-government militias and local police. In Gorziwan District, officials said 1,000 Taliban fighters had surrounded an Afghan National Army base in Dowm Qala area. In fighting beginning late Nov. 21, two soldiers and a militia member were killed, and five militia members wounded. The defenders called for urgent reinforcement.

Reporting was contributed by the following New York Times reporters: 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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