Afghan War Casualty Report: Feb. 22-28

The following report compiles all significant security incidents confirmed by New York Times reporters throughout Afghanistan from the past seven days. It is necessarily incomplete as many local officials refuse to confirm casualty information. The report includes government claims of insurgent casualty figures, but in most cases these cannot be independently verified by The Times. Similarly, the reports do not include Taliban claims for their attacks on the government unless they can be verified. Both sides routinely inflate casualty totals for their opponents.

At least 28 pro-government forces and one civilian were killed in Afghanistan during the past week, in the quietest week of attacks since The Times began counting casualties in September 2018. The deadliest attack took place in Ghazni Province, when an airstrike mistakenly targeted an outpost of pro-government militia members, killing nine and wounding three others. It was not clear that the airstrike was carried out by Afghan or American air power.

The war in Afghanistan killed almost 4,000 civilians last year, including a record number of children, according to United Nation’s annual report on Afghan civilian casualties, making it the single deadliest year for Afghan civilians since the U.N. began documenting casualties in 2009. The single biggest cause of civilian casualties was suicide bombings and related attacks by insurgents, the report found.

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

Feb. 28 Kandahar Province: two police officers killed

Two unknown armed men on a motorcycle opened fire on police in the Barodarwaza area of Kandahar City, killing two officers and wounding another. One of the attackers was shot and killed by police, the second one managed to escape from the area.

Feb. 28 Balkh Province: five police officers killed

The Taliban attacked a security outpost in Koshenda District and captured it after three hours of fighting. Five police officers were killed and another was wounded during the clashes. The fallen outpost was later recaptured by reinforcements.

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Feb. 27 Herat Province: three police officers killed

The Taliban attacked a security outpost in Kohsan District, killing three police officers and wounding another. Local authorities claimed that two Taliban fighters were also killed in this attack.

Feb. 25 Ghazni Province: nine pro-government militia members killed

Nine pro-government militia members were mistakenly killed and three others were wounded in an airstrike on one of their outposts in the Hotqol area of Jaghori District. It is not clear whether the airstrike was carried out by Afghan or American air power. The operation was not coordinated with local officials in Ghazni. A government delegation is investigating the incident.

Feb. 25 Faryab Province: two soldiers killed

The Taliban attacked a security outpost in the center of Almar District, killing two soldiers and wounding six others. The Taliban were pushed back by security forces. Local authorities claimed that three Taliban fighters were killed and five others were wounded in the clashes.

Feb. 24 Faryab Province: one pro-government militia member killed

Pro-government militias attacked Taliban members who came to a mosque in the Bzareq village of Shor Tepa District. One militia member was killed during the three hours of fighting. Local officials claimed that one Taliban member was also killed in the clashes.

Feb. 24 Nangarhar Province: one civilian killed

Unknown gunmen opened fire on two government employees in Torkham Border Pass. One person was killed and another was wounded in the attack.

Feb. 23 Takhar Province: five police officers killed

The Taliban attacked a local police outpost in the center of Khawaja Ghar District, killing five police officers and wounding another. The insurgents captured the outpost after an hour of fighting and seized all of its weapons and equipment.

Feb. 23 Herat Province: one police officer killed

Unknown gunmen attacked a police officer who was taking his family to the hospital in the Sheydayi area of Herat City, the provincial capital. The police officer was shot, and he later died of his wounds. One of the attackers was a madrasa student in Herat and was arrested by police. The second attacker escaped from the area.

Reporting was contributed by the following New York Times reporters: Najim Rahim from Mazar-e-Sharif; Mohammad Saber from Herat; Taimoor Shah from Kandahar and Zabihullah Ghazi from Jalalabad.

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