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Afghan War Casualty Report: January 2021

The following report compiles all significant security incidents confirmed by New York Times reporters throughout Afghanistan for the month. 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.

Jan. 1-7, 2021

At least 49 pro-government forces and 15 civilians were killed in Afghanistan the past week. The deadliest attack took place in Kunduz, where the Taliban attacked two security outposts and one military base in the Fourth Police District and Second Police District of Kunduz City, the provincial capital. Twelve soldiers and two police officers were killed, and one police officer was wounded. An additional 12 soldiers and five police officers went missing after the attacks. The Taliban captured the military base, seizing weapons and equipment. In Kandahar Province, nine members of a police special forces unit were killed in an apparent insider attack in Arghandab District. The officers were first poisoned and then shot and killed by Taliban infiltrators.

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

Jan. 7 Faryab Province: one soldier killed

The Taliban attacked the center of Gorziwan District, killing one soldier and wounding two others.

Jan. 7 Khost Province: one civilian killed

One civilian was killed and a police officer and a civilian were wounded when a roadside bomb exploded in the Mata Chena area in the western part of Khost city, the provincial capital.

Jan. 7 Kabul Province: one military pilot killed

A military pilot was shot and killed by unknown gunmen in the Fifth Police District in Kabul city, the capital. The attackers were able to escape from the area.

Jan. 7 Uruzgan Province: five security forces killed

The Taliban attacked security outposts in the outskirts of Tarin Kot, the provincial capital, using a Humvee packed with explosives. Three police officers and two soldiers were killed and five security forces were wounded in the attacks, and the outpost was destroyed by the explosion. A number of officers were trapped under the ruined walls of the outpost. Local authorities claimed that 11 Taliban fighters were killed, and 14 others were wounded in the battle.

Jan. 7 Kunduz Province: 14 security forces killed

The Taliban attacked two security outposts and one military base in the Fourth Police District and Second Police District of Kunduz City, the provincial capital, where fighting continued for four hours. Twelve soldiers and two police officers were killed, and one police officer was wounded. An additional 12 soldiers and five police officers went missing after the attacks. The Taliban captured the military base, seizing all weapons and equipment.

Jan. 6 Kabul Province: one security force member killed

A member of an elite protection force under the National Directorate of Security, Afghanistan’s intelligence agency, was shot and killed by unknown gunmen in front of his house in the Fifth Police District of Kabul city.

Jan. 6 Helmand Province: five civilians killed

An airstrike carried out by the Afghan air force killed five civilians, including women and children, in Basharan area of Lashkar Gah, the provincial capital. An additional five people were wounded in the bombardment.

Jan. 5 Faryab Province: one civilian killed

The Taliban attacked security outposts near the district town in Shirin Tagab District. During the clashes, a civilian vehicle was hit by a Taliban rocket, killing one civilian and wounding three others. The Taliban tried to hit a security outpost with a car bomb, but it was targeted by a rocket fired by security forces.

Jan. 5 Ghazni Province: seven soldiers killed

Seven soldiers were killed and another was taken prisoner in an insider attack in the Tawhid Abad area of Ghazni City, the provincial capital. A Taliban infiltrator, who was working as a soldier, first poisoned seven of his colleagues in the outpost, and then shot and killed them with a suppressed firearm. He seized weapons and equipment in the outpost and took one soldier prisoner.

Jan. 5 Kunar Province: one police officer killed

The Taliban attacked a security outpost in Jaje Tapa area of Sarkano District, killing one police officer and wounding two others.

Jan. 5 Kapisa Province: one police officer and one civilian killed

A provincial council member’s bodyguard was shot and killed in the First Police District of Mahmood Raqi, the provincial capital. The same attackers, who were on a motorcycle, shot and killed a civilian Kalota area of Hese-e-Dowam Kohistan District. Police launched a door-to-door operation to track down those responsible for the killing.

Jan. 5 Kabul Province: one soldier killed

Col. Mojaba Sarwari, the commander of the Afghan army’s First Battalion who had been wounded in a car bombing on Nov. 3, died of his wounds in a hospital in Kabul, the capital.

Jan. 4 Nangarhar Province: two police officers killed

A magnetic bomb attached to a local police vehicle exploded in the Fourth Police District of Jalalabad, the provincial capital, killing two local police officers and wounding three police officers and one civilian.

Jan. 4 Kandahar Province: nine police officers killed

Nine members of a police special forces unit were killed in an apparent insider attack in Arghandab District. The officers were first poisoned and then shot and killed by Taliban infiltrators. The infiltrators seized military gear and equipment and escaped from the area.

Jan. 4 Herat Province: one police officer killed

In the village of Sarkochah in Obeh District, one police officer was killed and three others were wounded in clashes with the Taliban.

Jan. 3 Kapisa Province: five civilians killed

A magnetic bomb attached to the vehicle of Mirwais Karimi, the head of Scholars Council in Kapisa, exploded in Sayad Area of Mahmood Raqi, the provincial capital, killing five civilians and wounding nine others. Mr. Karimi was slightly wounded in the explosion.

Jan. 3 Ghazni Province: three police officers killed

The Taliban attacked a checkpoint of security forces in the Fourth Police District of Ghazni City, the provincial capital, killing three police officers.

Jan. 3 Kunduz Province: one police officer killed

A police truck was ambushed by the Taliban in the Second Police District of Kunduz City, the provincial capital, killing one police officer and wounding two others.

Jan. 3 Balkh Province: one police officer killed

A police officer was shot and killed by unknown gunmen in the Khaled Bin Waleed area of Mazar-e-Sharif, the provincial capital. The attackers managed to escape from the area.

Jan. 3 Balkh Province: one civilian killed

A former jihadi commander was shot and killed inside a mosque in the Fourth Police District of Mazar-e-Sharif. The attackers managed to escape from the area.

Jan. 1 Ghor Province: one journalist killed

The manager of a local radio station called Sada-e-Ghor Radio was shot and killed by unknown gunmen in Firoz Koh, the provincial capital. The attackers managed to escape from the area.

Reporting was contributed by Najim Rahim from Kabul, Zabihullah Ghazi from Nangarhar, Farooq Jan Mangal from Khost, Taimoor Shah from Kandahar and Asadullah Timory from Herat.

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