The number of attacks involving improvised explosive devices (IEDs) in Afghanistan has been on the rise over the last several months, but the number of deaths caused by them is on its way down. Pentagon data shows less than half of troop deaths are the result of IEDs, a significant milestone for the more than decade-long conflict, USA Today reports.
The decrease in deaths comes as the number of attacks jumped 5 percent since March. Experts say the biggest reason for the decrease in fatal strikes is because fighting has switched from southern to eastern Afghanistan, where troops spend much of their time in heavily-armored vehicles. While the news is somewhat encouraging, there is still work to be done, analysts say.
"We cannot expect substantial progress in the fight against IEDs in Afghanistan until Pakistan takes responsibility for tracking and interdiction," Sen. Robert Casey told the publication. "This topic should be at the top of our agenda in every interaction with Pakistani officials."
Since fighting began in Afghanistan, IEDs have posed one of the biggest threats to the safety of coalition forces. Statistics show that IEDs have been responsible for around 66 percent of troop casualties in the country since 2001.