KABUL, Afghanistan, July 1 (UPI) -- While operations led by Afghan security forces increased last month, so did the number of causalities suffered, an Interior Ministry spokesman said Monday.
Ministry spokesman Sediq Sediqqi said that in June, 299 soldiers and police were killed in fighting militants and 618 were wounded, a 22 percent increase from June 2012, Stars and Stripes reported.
Afghan forces conducted 387 operations in June, Sediqqi said.
"This is our answer to the Taliban's spring offensive," he said. "We have police officers present all over the country now, so this is one of the reasons" for the casualty count.
Sediqqi said 753 insurgents died and 300 arrested during the same period, while 180 civilians were killed.
Casualties among the NATO-led international force are down overall in June. Last month, 27 foreign troops, including 17 Americans, died, casualty tracking website iCasualties.org indicated.
"The fact that ISAF casualty numbers are down is a result that our Afghan partners are now in the lead and they are the ones confronting the enemy," said Brig. Gen. Heinz Feldmann, spokesman for the international coalition.
International Security Assistance Force said Monday Afghans forces thwarted a would-be suicide bomber outside the national security headquarters in Kabul, Stars and Stripes reported. The attacker, wearing a military uniform, was shot and killed by guards outside of the main office.
The country's capital has been the target of multiple attacks in the past few weeks, most recently at the presidential palace, and the main airport complex before that.
ISAF troops will withdraw from Afghanistan at the end of 2014.