Watch CBSN Live

Baltimore: More Violent Than Afghanistan?

A bloody battle over drug money and turf in Baltimore has prompted some strong words from the city's archbishop, reports CBS station WBZ.

"Parts of the city are very violent," said Archbishop Edwin O'Brien. "Parts of the city are as bad as Afghanistan, if not worse, as we saw this weekend."

Eighteen people were wounded in a mass shooting linked to a feud between two drug organizations. The drug-fueled violence may also have sparked several murders and a violent kidnapping, according to sources.

But is Baltimore, a city with less than a million people, worse than Afghanistan, a country with more than 30 million?

According to the Baltimore Sun, the city saw fewer killings last year than any other in the past two decades. However, data released in June show the city's homicide rate ranked the highest among the nation's cities with a population of more than 500,000. The city had 37 homicides per 100,000 residents in 2008.

Meanwhile, July has been the deadliest month for U.S. troops in Afghanistan so far. At least 30 U.S. troops have died this month - two more than the toll for June 2008, which had been the deadliest month for the American force in Afghanistan.

For the record, nearly 3,800 insurgents were killed in 2008 in Afghanistan, based on figures collected by The Associated Press. So far in 2009, more than 2,310 insurgents have been killed, according to the AP count.