Death toll among Afghan forces at 807 in Jan-Feb, says report

Top Afghan Taliban leader killed in northern Pakistan

"Likewise, civilian casualties in 2016 were the highest since the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan began reporting them in 2009".

Instead, the US commander in Afghanistan has asked for more troops to fight the Taliban as well as the militant Islamic State (IS) group.

US Army Gen. John Nicholson, the commander of US and North Atlantic Treaty Organisation forces in Afghanistan, has submitted his recommendation for a troop boost of a "few thousand" in the war-torn country, US officials in Kabul said.

- 660,639 people in Afghanistan fled their homes due to conflict in 2016 - the highest number of displacements on record and a 40% increase over the previous year.

The US government's Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) says 807 troops from the Afghan National Defence and Security Forces (ANDSF) died between January 1 and February 24.

There has been little let-up in violence targeting Afghan forces since the period covered in the report.

The latest report from the federal government's Afghanistan watchdog paints a picture of increased violence and bloodshed in the war-torn nation and suggests that preventing the Taliban and other insurgents from increasing their control of the countryside will continue to be a "challenge" for Afghan security forces.

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"Security incidents and armed clashes increased" over the past several months and "civilian casualties reached new heights", according to SIGAR. "Heavy casualties and capability gaps limit the effectiveness of Afghan soldiers and police".

Coinciding with the general's statement, the SIGAR report notes that "Fighting insurgents and mentoring and supporting Afghan security forces since 2002 has cost more than 2,400 American military members their lives, and has left more than 20,000 wounded".

"Drug use among women and children is among the highest documented worldwide, and 30.6 percent of households tested positive for some form of illicit drug", the report read. He also wants to see a USA counternarcotics strategy, which has been "on hold for almost two years".

Referring to America's refusal to destroy the opium poppies after the 9/11 attacks that prompted the U.S.to invade Afghanistan, the GOP congressman said, "The excuse was always 'Oh we think they might be too close to a mosque'".

They called on the Afghan government to implement fundamental reforms and immediately address the leadership crisis in the country's security sector.

Vanda Felbab-Brown, a fellow at the Brookings Institute, said the how the Trump administration deals with the current problems growing in Afghanistan will send a signal to the world about the U.S.'s resolve in fulfilling its commitments.

The data were obtained from the USA military and were based on operational reporting and may differ from official statistics provided by the Afghan government and ministries.

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