KABUL – US commander in Afghanistan General John Nicholson has revealed that Afghan forces are suffering a high number of casualties on the battlefield against Taliban insurgents, despite the fact that military personnel is registering more tactical successes.

Talking to a group of reporters in Kabul yesterday, the US General said that over 5,000 Afghan army personnel had been killed and around 14,000 wounded in 2015. He warned that the number of dead and injured from among the Afghan forces would be substantially higher this year, due to a recent an earlier than expected start to the Taliban’s traditional spring offensive.

The general, however, refused to disclose the number of deaths and injuries recorded in the first half of the year.

“The rising number of casualties is largely the result of Taliban attacks on fixed Afghan positions in different parts of the country,” he said when asked about the possible reason behind this trend.

On the occasion, General Nicholson also praised Afghan forces for being able to recruit new fighters and carry on, despite the high casualty rate.

Last week, US President Barack Obama had announced a slow down in the military’s proposed exit plan for Afghanistan, ordering 8,400 US troops to stay on in Afghanistan until the end of his tenure.