Death toll surges as war enters 16th year
Thousands of Afghan soldiers, civilians and Taliban fighters have been killed in one of the bloodiest fighting seasons of the 15-year U.S. campaign in the country, a sobering harbinger of what may come in the longest war in American history.
More than 60,000 Afghans have been injured or killed in 2016 in the face of a resurgent Taliban, who now hold sway over two-thirds of the country — the most territory held by the insurgent group since the beginning of the war, according to Kabul.
Afghan officials declined to provide specific casualty figures for the Afghan National Security and Defense Forces (ANDSF), which are composed of the country’s Army, national and local police forces, Voice of America reported Sunday.
Mohammad Radmanesh, the deputy defense ministry spokesman, did acknowledge the casualties suffered by ANDSF did increase by 10 percent over last year’s figures.