NATO to stop reporting Afghan attack figures

KABUL: The NATO-led military force in Afghanistan will no longer publish statistics on Taliban insurgent attacks, the coalition announced on Tuesday, a week after admitting some of its records were incorrect.

Officials have expressed regret that a reported seven percent decrease in “enemy-initiated attacks” in 2012 was wrong and said that attacks were roughly the same as 2011.

International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) spokesman Jamie Graybeal denied that the error, which cast doubts on NATO claims of progress in the war, had forced the change of policy.

“Because the (Afghan army and police) are now conducting an increasing number of successful unilateral operations, often beyond the view of ISAF, we have determined that our databases will become increasingly inaccurate,” he said.

“Additionally, we have come to realise that a simple tally is not the most complete measure of the campaign’s progress.”

The mistake in the figures occurred because some Afghan units that had recently taken the lead from NATO forces had not entered numbers correctly into a database, according to officials.

The United States and NATO have around 100,000 troops in Afghanistan, with all foreign combat troops due to leave by the end of next year as Afghan forces take on the fight against the Taliban.