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Jan 24, 6:58 AM EST

Official: Taliban launch nearly 19,000 attacks in 10 months

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KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) -- An Afghan Defense Ministry official says the Taliban have launched nearly 19,000 attacks throughout the country in the last 10 months. By comparison the Afghan National Security Forces carried out roughly 700 counter-insurgency operations during the same period.

Afghan Defense Ministry spokesman Dawlat Waziri said Tuesday he didn't have a comparative figure from the previous year, "but this year it was much worse for the number of attacks by the Taliban."

While fighting traditionally eases during the winter months, observers say the attacks this year have continued at a steady pace.

Waziri told reporters at a briefing in the capital, Kabul, that 2,021 Taliban militants were arrested in the past 10 months and 365 Taliban commanders were killed. There was no way to independently confirm Waziri's figures.

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