Kabul: Afghan security forces are dying at five times the rate of NATO soldiers in the country, new figures have revealed.
The surge in deaths come as Taliban insurgents have increased attacks ahead of the proposed and planned withdrawal of foreign troops in 2014.
According to The telegraph, a total of 853 Afghan soldiers and police have been killed in the past four months, government figures show, compared with 165 NATO troops, according to a tally kept by the website icasualties.org.
President Hamid Karzai had warned in May that the Afghan death toll would increase as the US-led troops start withdrawing and hand over responsibility for security to Afghan forces.
Both NATO’s International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) and Afghanistan’s Interior Ministry have noted a surge in attacks in recent months since the start of the Taliban’s annual summer offensive.
The month of June alone saw the highest number of attacks in nearly two years, with more than 100 assaults a day across the country, including firefights and roadside bombings, the US-led coalition said.
Sediq Seddiqi, an Interior Ministry spokesman, said there had been a surge in casualties suffered by police in the past four months, with 635 killed and 1,246 wounded.
The upturn comes as NATO countries have already started to withdraw their 130,000 troops after more than 10 years of war and ahead of a 2014 deadline for an end to combat operations.