Afghan War Casualty Report: December 2019


Afghan soldiers carry the body of their comrade from the scene of a roadside bomb blast that targeted an army vehicle in Helmand, Afghanistan in November.
Afghan soldiers carry the body of their comrade from the scene of a roadside bomb blast that targeted an army vehicle in Helmand, Afghanistan in November.Credit...Watan Yar/EPA, via Shutterstock

The following report compiles all significant security incidents confirmed by New York Times reporters throughout Afghanistan from the past seven days. It is necessarily incomplete as many local officials refuse to confirm casualty information. The report includes government claims of insurgent casualty figures, but in most cases these cannot be independently verified by The Times. Similarly, the reports do not include Taliban claims for their attacks on the government unless they can be verified. Both sides routinely inflate casualty totals for their opponents.

At least 57 pro-government forces and 27 civilians were killed in Afghanistan during the past week. The deadliest attack took place in Kunduz Province, where the Taliban attacked security outposts on the highway connecting Kunduz to Takhar Province, killing 11 soldiers and taking prisoner five others over several hours of fighting. The insurgents also captured a security outpost in the Malarghi village of Kunduz City, the provincial capital. In Nangarhar Province, Dr. Tetsu Nakamura, the director of Peace Japan Medical Services, a Japanese-funded nonprofit organization, was attacked by gunmen while driving to work in Jalalabad, the provincial capital. Five members of his organization’s staff were killed and Dr. Nakamura later succumbed to his wounds. Earlier in the week, an American drone struck a car carrying a woman who had just given birth in Southeastern Afghanistan, leaving five people dead, including the mother, three of her relatives and the driver, according to local officials and family members.

[Read the Afghan War Casualty Report from previous weeks.]

Dec. 5 Kandahar Province: one police officer killed

Unknown gunmen on a motorcycle shot and killed a police officer in the 12th Police District of Kandahar City, the provincial capital, before escaping from the area.

Dec. 4 Nangarhar Province: six civilians killed

Dr. Tetsu Nakamura, the director of Peace Japan Medical Services, a Japanese funded NGO, was attacked by gunmen while driving to work in Jalalabad, the provincial capital. Five members of his organization’s staff were killed, and Dr. Nakamura later died of his wounds.

Dec. 4 Helmand Province: three civilians killed

A civilian vehicle was struck by a roadside bomb in the Kharaba area of Nawa District, killing three civilians, all members of the same family, including a woman and child.

Dec. 4 Ghor Province: three civilians killed

Three civilians, all members of the Hazara ethnic group, were killed in the village of Qala-e-Sar-e-Sang in Firozkoh, the provincial capital, while traveling from Ghor Province to Herat. Their vehicle was stopped by the Taliban and they were shot and killed immediately.

Dec. 4 Helmand Province: one police officer and one civilian killed

Both the deputy head of the provincial police recruitment center and his son were shot and killed by unknown gunmen in the Second Police District of Lashkar Gah, the provincial capital. The attackers managed to escape.

Dec. 4 Baghlan Province: seven security forces killed

The Taliban attacked a security outpost in the Bagh-e-Shamal area of Pul-i-Kumri City, the provincial capital, killing four members of the territorial army and three local police officers. Eight members of the security forces were also wounded. The insurgents blocked the highway to prevent the arrival of reinforcements and seized two Humvees.

Dec. 4 Takhar Province: one police officer killed

Afghan security forces carried out a joint operation of the army, police, and National Directorate of Safety in the Ambar Koh area of Barak District, where they were confronted by the Taliban, who killed one police officer over two hours of fighting.

Dec. 4 Kandahar Province: one police officer killed

One police officer was killed in a roadside bomb explosion in the Sixth Police District of Kandahar City, the provincial capital.

Dec. 4 Kunduz Province: four security forces and one civilian killed

A Taliban Red Unit attacked Dasht-e-Archi District center, killing three local police officers, one soldier, and one civilian. Eight members of the security forces were also wounded, and the Taliban briefly took control of two security outposts before they were recaptured.

Dec. 3 Badghis Province: one police officer killed

The Taliban attacked a security outpost in the village of Laman in Qala-e-Naw City, the provincial capital, killing one local police officer and wounding four others. After air support was called, four Taliban fighters were killed in strikes by the Afghan Air Force.

Dec. 2 Herat Province: one soldier killed

One border soldier was shot and killed by gunmen on a motorcycle in the Islam Qala border town in Kohsan District. The attacker managed to escape from the area.

Dec. 2 Sar-i-Pul: two civilians killed

A group of Taliban fighters attacked the house of the governor of Sayyad District, where fighting continued for several hours. The governor’s brother and son were killed and two police officers were wounded. While the governor survived, his house and car were both burned down by insurgents.

Dec. 2 Takhar Province: three soldiers killed

The Taliban attacked a security outpost in Khawja Bahahuddin District, killing three soldiers and wounding four others.

Dec. 2 Kabul Province: three security forces killed

While heading to work in the morning, three members of the National Directorate of Security, Afghanistan’s intelligence agency, were killed and two others were wounded in an attack in the Ninth Police District of Kabul.

Dec. 1 Sar-i-Pul Province: one police officer killed

A local police officer who was on duty in the tower of an outpost was shot and killed by a Taliban sniper in the center of Sayyad District.

Dec. 1 Faryab Province: one soldier killed

The Taliban attacked the center of Shirin Tagab District, killing one soldier and wounding a soldier and a pro-government militia member.

Dec. 1 Sar-i-Pul Province: two civilians killed

The Taliban built a new market in the Awraq area of Kohistan District, requesting that people in the district move its current bazaar there. When locals rejected the demand and protested the insurgents, the Taliban opened fire, killing two and wounding five others.

Dec. 1 Takhar Province: two security forces killed

The Taliban attacked the National Directorate of Security department in Bahrak District, killing the deputy district chief and one pro-government militia member.

Dec. 1 Jowzjan province: four security forces killed

The Taliban attacked Murdian District center, killing four members of the National Directorate of Security, Afghanistan’s intelligence agency, and wounding three others.

Dec. 1 Kunduz Province: 11 soldiers killed

The Taliban attacked security outposts on the highway connecting Kunduz to Takhar Province, killing 11 soldiers and taking five others prisoner over several hours of fighting during which insurgents captured a security outpost in the Malarghi village of Kunduz City, the provincial capital.

Nov. 30 Khost Province: five civilians killed

An American drone struck a car carrying a woman who had just given birth in Southeastern Afghanistan, leaving five people dead, including the mother, three of her relatives and the driver, Afghan officials and family members said on Sunday.

Nov. 30 Helmand Province: one border force commander killed

Gen. Zahir Gul, the commander of the Fourth Regiment of border forces in Helmand Province, was killed and Sardar Mohammad Sarwari, a local reporter, was wounded in a roadside bomb explosion in Marja District.

Nov. 30 Baghlan Province: four civilians killed

Gunmen killed the head teacher of a school, two of his young sons and one of his relatives in the Kilagai area of Doshi District.

Nov. 30 Balkh Province: one soldier killed

The Taliban attacked security outposts in Sholgara District, killing one soldier. Local authorities claimed that two Taliban fighters were also killed in the clash.

Nov. 30 Faryab Province: seven security forces killed

The Taliban attacked security outposts in the center of Gorziwan District, killing seven security forces, including two territorial army soldiers and five pro-government militia members. Two security forces were also wounded in the attack, and the outpost collapsed to the Taliban, who seized all weapons and equipment. Despite many calls for reinforcements, they never arrived.

Nov. 29 Kunduz Province: three police officers killed

The Taliban identified and killed three police officers in the Lodin village of Kunduz City, the provincial capital. These officers were traveling by bus from Kabul to Badakhshan Province.

Nov. 29 Jowzjan Province: one soldier killed

The Taliban attacked the center of Mangajik District, killing one soldier in a rocket attack before being pushed back by security forces.

Nov. 29 Kunduz Province: two soldiers killed

The Taliban killed two border soldiers in the Chanboz Kol area of Shir Khan Port. The soldiers were patrolling the area on a motorcycle when they were targeted, and their weapons were seized.

Reporting was contributed by the following New York Times reporters: Asadullah Timory from Herat, Zabihullah Ghazi from Jalalabad, Farooq Jan Mangal from Khost, Taimoor Shah from Kandahar and Najim Rahim from Mazar-e-Sharif.