KABUL: Police deaths in Afghanistan have doubled this year after withdrawing U.S.-led forces handed security of the war-ravaged country to poorly equipped local troops with less front line experience fighting Taliban insurgents.
Almost 12 years after coalition forces invaded Afghanistan, swathes of territory are firmly under Taliban control and Afghan troops are still heavily reliant on foreign air support, particularly in remote areas.
Their lighter vehicles make them particularly vulnerable to roadside bombs.
The Afghan government, anxious not to damage morale, has been reluctant to publish regular casualty numbers. It no longer publishes death tolls for the army.
Interior Ministry figures published Monday showed 1,792 police have been killed since March, most of them by roadside bombs, the same number who died in the preceding 12 months, according to data published Monday.
It is one of the highest police death rates in the world and raises further questions over how the government will be able to keep the Taliban at bay once foreign troops have withdrawn fully from Afghanistan at the end of 2014.