Six hundreds Afghan National Army troops have been lost to insurgency-related incidents across the country over the past two months, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) announced on Monday.
MoD spokesman Gen. Zahir Azeemi told a press conference in Kabul that hundreds of insurgents were killed, wounded and detained during the period. However, he did not provide any figure.
He said the 600 troops were killed during an operation against insurgents codenamed “Omeed” (hope). Launched 18 months ago, the operation is still ongoing, he said.
He was quoted by Afghan News Agency (Pajhwok) as saying that 148 operations were jointly conducted with foreign troops during the past two months, with 14 of the offensives ongoing.
Azeemi said Operation Omeed was aimed at isolating insurgents from residents, improving security on highways and paving the ground for development activities.
The official said 80 to 90 percent deaths among troops had been a result of roadside bombs, the Taliban’s weapon of choice.
He said the rebels had lost the courage to enter a face-to-face encounter with government forces, thus opting to suicide and roadside bomb attacks.
Azeemi also said nearly 7,600 kilograms of explosives were seized and more than 13 mines defused during last two months, when 612 mines exploded.