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Afghan Govt.: Police Casualties Drop Countrywide

FILE - Afghan police soldiers inspect the site of a suicide attack in Kabul, Afghanistan, Monday, June 20, 2016.

The Afghan interior ministry says police casualties in the country have dropped around 40 percent compared to last year.

Interior ministry deputy assistant General Mohammad Salem Ehsas told VOA's Afghan service that police reform has played vital role saving the lives of Afghan men and women serving in uniform.

“Reforms in local police force, paying attention to the importance of training and providing required [lifesaving] equipment are the reason for 40 percent reduction in police causalities,” said Ehsas.

A 2015 Pentagon report says casualties among Afghan national defense and security forces rose 27 percent from Jan. 1 to Nov. 15, compared with the same period in 2014. But the commander of ALP (Afghan local police) General Ali Shah Ahmadzai told VOA Afghanistan that 66 police officers were killed between late March and late June, compared to 78 in the same period last year.

Ahmadzai added that besides training and equipment, the removal of under-age soldiers – 13 to 17 year-old- and and men over the age of 55 has also played a great role in the reduction of police causalities.

International human rights groups haveslammed the recruiting of under-age children in the Afghan police force.

Afghan interior ministry spokesperson Sidiq Sidiqi told VOA Afghanistan that a new MOI report confirms the causality drop, however, more equipment and trainings are needed, he said.