Afghanistan: Defence Minister says insurgent attacks up by 13%, casualty toll among insurgents rose by 11%

Acting defence minister Gen. Tariq Shah Bahrami said on Sunday that in the past seven months insurgent attacks have increased by 13 percent.

He also stated that the casualty toll among insurgents in this time has risen by 11 percent.

Addressing a press conference in Kabul on Sunday Bahrami said that although the number of attacks has increased, the casualty toll among insurgents was much higher than that sustained by the Afghan security forces.

Quoting NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg’s announcement, Bahrami reiterated that NATO would also be sending in more troops, in addition to the United States’ troop surge of about 4,000.

He stated that NATO approved the Afghan government’s four-year strategy and pledged to continue supporting the country’s military endeavours financially. He also said a clear message emerged during the NATO meeting and that was aimed at Pakistan to stop supporting the insurgency.

Bahrami had participated in NATO defence ministers meeting in Brussels on Thursday.

He also informed that he held a meeting with Germany and other allies on the security situation in the northern parts of the country on the sidelines of Brussels summit. He, however, did not give any details of the meeting.

In the Brussels summit, NATO chief Stoltenberg said on Thursday that 27 nations have committed to increasing troop numbers in the structure of the Resolute Support Mission in the coming months and the new commitment will increase the number of troops from 13,000 to 16,000.

The NATO chief also hailed the growing war capabilities of the Afghan Security and Defense Forces (ANDSF) and said that the conventional Afghan security forces had prevented the Taliban from taking provincial capitals this fighting season.

“In addition, NATO allies and partners will continue to provide USD 1 billion a year to the defence and security forces (of Afghanistan) until at least 2020,” he added.

He said NATO remains committed to supporting forces to develop capabilities, strengthen command and control, and to prepare the next generation of military leaders.

On the issue of ongoing security threats, he said that the situation remains challenging, but progress is being made.

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