Hundreds of soldiers have deserted the Afghan National Army complaining of poor conditions and fierce resistance from the Taliban, U.S. officials say. It is a blow to the Afghan government which wants to increase the size of the force so the numbers of international troops in the country can be reduced.
A U.S. military spokesman told the BBC News that around 300 men have deserted. That is one in 12 of the entire force.
Of course, with six Americans killed in Iraq yesterday Afghanistan has some catching up to do.