The Taliban has long exaggerated its military successes, but its figures for 2008 may be the militia's most startling claims yet.So given that it is known that the Taliban make stuff up it would be nice if the press adopted a more sceptical attitude when faced with reports about wedding parties being bombed and the only evidence to back up the story is the testimony of villagers in Taliban held territory.
The Taliban claims its forces last year killed 5,220 foreign troops, downed 31 aircraft, destroyed 2,818 NATO and Afghan vehicles and killed 7,552 Afghan soldiers and police.
Though third-party observers can rarely confirm casualty claims on the Afghan battlefield from the Taliban, the Afghan government, the U.S. or NATO, the Taliban's 2008 numbers would appear to be far from the truth.
NATO's member countries announce all troop deaths, providing names, ages and hometowns and how the soldiers were killed. According to an Associated Press tally of those announcements, 286 foreign military personnel died last year in Afghanistan, including 151 Americans and 51 Britons.
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