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109 Afghan soldiers killed in July: Azimi

109 Afghan soldiers killed in July: Azimi

Jul 27, 2011 - 16:58

KABULinfo-icon (PANinfo-icon): As many as 109 Afghan National Army (ANA) soldiers have been killed so far during the current month, compared to 68 in June, a defence official said on Wednesday. 

Most of the fatalities resulted from roadside bombings, a weapon of choice for the Talibaninfo-icon insurgents, said Gen. Zahir Azimi, the defence ministry spokesman.

Addressing a news conference in Kabul, he linked the increase in ANA deaths to intensifying counterinsurgency operations across the country. The rebels also suffered causalities as a result of the military offensive, he said, without giving exact figures.

Over the last 24 hours, Azimi said, eight militants were killed and four others injured. Nearly 619 fighters were detained with weapons last month, he recalled.

During the period, the soldiers recovered 144 kilograms of explosives, 23 vehicles, 294 weapons, ammunitions and 473 kilograms of drugs. In the last 24 hours, 25 landmines, 700 kilograms of explosives and acid were seized.

Azimi put the ANA's current strength at 171, 000, which is projected to reach to 240,000 by the end of 2014, when security responsibility for the entire country will transition to Afghan forces.


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