Over 3,300 insurgents killed in Afghanistan in 2012

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More than 3,300 insurgents have been killed and nearly 3,500 others detained in operations carried out by Afghan forces and the NATO-led coalition or International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) troops throughout last year in the insurgency-hit country.

According to figures based on the country's Interior Ministry statements, a total of 3,328 Taliban insurgents have been killed and up to 3,480 have been detained by the joint forces in 2012.

The Afghan army, police and the coalition forces intensified military pressure against the Taliban and other anti-government militant groups throughout the country last year, particularly since early May last year when Taliban launched an annual rebel offensive against the Afghan forces and the foreign troops stationed in the country.

The Taliban, who ruled the country before they were ousted by a U.S.-led invasion in late 2001, renewed armed insurgency, staging ambush and suicide attacks, killing combatants as well as civilians.

Despite a decrease in violent attacks due to cold weather in an imminent winter, the government security forces and 100,000 NATO- led coalition forces continue to press the militants in the militancy-hit country.

"During these winter months which the insurgents have typically used to regroup, waiting for what they have termed 'fighting season', I want to make it clear that ISAF and the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) have no operational pause," ISAF Spokesman Brigadier General Gunter Katz told a press briefing on Monday.

"In these months we continue our relentless pressure on the insurgency," he added.

Gen. Katz said that the Afghan and coalition forces have had great achievements throughout 2012, saying "In 2012, the ANSF together with ISAF increased security in Afghanistan significantly. The insurgency was fought successfully; it was pushed even in areas that used to be safe havens for them."

Figures released by the Afghan Interior Ministry showed more than 500 insurgents had been wounded during the military operations last year.

However, the insurgents in retaliation responded by carrying out suicide bombings and Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) attacks against security forces, inflicting casualties on the civilians as well.

Records kept by Xinhua reveal that the insurgents had launched nearly 80 suicide attacks last year while multiple suicide bombers have been involved in several of the suicide bombings.

On the other hand, the security forces also suffered casualties last year. More than 1,000 personnel of Afghan army lost their lives in military operations, direct fighting and IED blasts in 2012, according to General Zahir Azimi, a spokesman for the country's Defense Ministry.

However, the government has not released the figures of police casualties, who have been facing more threats in the war against Taliban than the army.

The conflicts had claimed the lives of 405 coalition forces including 310 Americans and 51 Britons last year.

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