A look at violence numbers in Afghanistan in 2008

Associated Press December 31, 2008
The following are estimates of violent deaths in Afghanistan in 2008 compiled by The Associated Press based on figures from Western and Afghan officials. The count is not definitive and relies heavily on official statements.

Afghan officials are known to exaggerate Taliban deaths, for instance, and NATO’s International Security Assistance Force does not release figures of militants it kills. The numbers were compiled by AP reporter Rahim Faiez.

A record 151 died in 2008, in part because more forces are in the country and have moved into new regions, but also because roadside bombs have become deadlier and militant attacks more sophisticated. In 2007, 111 U.S. forces died.

AFGHAN POLICE: At least 850 were killed this year. Some 925 died in 2007. Police have less training and weapons than Afghan soldiers and bear the brunt of militant attacks.

CIVIILIANS: Overall at least 1,160 civilians were killed in insurgency related violence. U.S. or NATO troops killed about 370 civilians, while Taliban or other militants killed 770. In 2007, the AP count showed 875 civilians died, including 360 by U.S. or NATO action and 485 from Taliban or other militant action.

MILITANTS: At least 3,800 militants died on the battlefield in 2008, an estimate that is likely quite low because NATO does not release battle death estimates. Last year AP recorded 4,500 militant deaths, but a NATO official later said the alliance estimated close to 7,000 had been killed.

OVERALL: In 2008, AP recorded the deaths of 6,340 people in Afghanistan from insurgency-related violence, slightly less than the 6,533 AP recorded in 2007. Insurgency-related violence includes battlefield deaths, military operations such as airstrikes, and Taliban attacks such as suicide or roadside bombings.