Tally against Taliban hits 160 in two days

BBC:

The US-led coalition force in Afghanistan says that more than 160 Taleban fighters have been killed in two days of fighting in the south.

They say that more than 100 insurgents were killed in Helmand province, and at least 65 in neighbouring Uruzgan. One coalition soldier died, US forces said.

The Taleban denied the figures, which could not be independently verified.

Villagers said there had been a large number of civilian deaths from aerial bombardments in both provinces.

...

Violence has soared in Afghanistan and more than 3,000 people have been killed this year as Afghan and foreign forces battle Taleban fighters.

...
One of the things wrong with war reporting especially in Afghanistan is the tendency to conflate casualty figures into one number which plays to their violence as a metric meme and is totally misleading. If 90 percent of those casualties were Taliban that should suggest that the Taliban is losing, but the BBC would not want to let that type of analysis/good news slip into the story.

Note also, that the BBC cannot independently verify the claims of the villagers either, but they fail to say so. In fact what they should say is that the Taliban is notorious for making bogus claims of civilian casualties when they lose a battle. Even is the BBC attempted to verify the claim of civilian casualties and they were looking at the bodies, they could still be Taliban since they camouflage themselves as civilians and carry no identification giving their name rank or serial number.

The description of the attack near Musa Qala is pretty typical of the Taliban failures this year.

...

Several dozen insurgents attacked the convoy from trenches and compounds and continued reinforcing their positions, the statement added.

Subsequent coalition air strikes killed more than 100 rebels, while one coalition soldier died, US forces said. The US-led coalition said the targets had been identified as Taleban positions.

The Taleban, meanwhile, gave very different figures - they said three of their fighters and 20 foreign and Afghan army forces had died.

...
Note again the BBC fails to say that they could not independently verify the bogus Taliban clam and that is one that could be verified by the source that provided them information on the Taliban KIAs to begin with.

The story goes on to describe another action in Uruzgan, where "65 suspected militants - armed with machine guns, rocket-propelled grenades and mortars were killed" according to a handout from the coalition. The BBC then descends into the he saids over whether there were three civilians injured as claimed by the US or 12 civilians were killed as claimed by some anonymous person.

It is an example of some unsatisfactory war reporting.

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