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Attacks on Afghan Security Forces Triple in Year

By VOA News
10 March 2009

A U.S. government report says attacks on security forces in Afghanistan nearly tripled over the past year.

The report says attacks on Afghan police increased from 97 to 289, and that about 56 police officers are killed in action each month. The study published Monday in Washington by the Government Accountability Office, or GAO, also noted some progress, as a result of U.S. and Afghan officials' successful efforts to restructure the country's police force.

In southern Afghanistan Tuesday, a roadside bomb killed four people and wounded six others.

Afghan officials say the bomb ripped through a civilian vehicle in the Nad Ali district of Helmand province, the center of the country's opium-producing region and a militant stronghold.

Over the past three years, U.S. and NATO forces have been battling an increasingly resurgent Taliban movement. U.S. President Barack Obama has ordered a review of U.S. policy on Afghanistan and the surrounding region, and an additional 17,000 American troops are being deployed to bolster security in southern Afghanistan.

Afghanistan will soon be getting a cash infusion of $124 million from Japan. The government says the money will be used to pay six months' salary for Afghanistan's 82,000 police officers.

The aid is part of a larger package that includes more than $98 million in anti-poverty funds as well as $50 million to help Afghanistan hold elections in August.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP.



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