Violence increased in Afghanistan

Violent attacks on the rise in Afghanistan

The violence in Afghanistan has increased in last few months-despite the continued dialogue and negotiations between US and Taliban. The rural areas seem to be the main battleground. The violence has increased in rural districts where Afghan forces and Taliban fighters have been engaged in deadly battles on daily basis.

There is relative calm in Kabul after experiencing deadly attacks. The Afghan cities have witnessed drop in violent attacks in last two months.   
According to the US Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR), “enemy-initiated attacks” rose sharply last year, with the fourth quarter seeing a total of 8,204 attacks — up from 6,974 in the same period in 2018.

SIGAR said in its report that attacks appeared to mirror progress in US-Taliban talks, with incidents dropping earlier in the year, and then picking up again after US President Donald Trump temporarily halted negotiations in September.
“A turbulent last six months resulted in increases in overall enemy attacks (6 percent) and effective attacks (4 percent) in 2019 compared to the already high levels reported in 2018,” SIGAR said in its quarterly report to the US Congress.
The Pentagon has also increased bombing operations in the rural areas, with American warplanes dropping more bombs on Afghanistan in 2019 than at any other time in at least a decade, according to the US Air Force.

SIGAR’s report also found that Afghanistan’s security forces struggled to take the fight to the Taliban, relying on US support for more than half their ground operations. SIGAR also highlighted a slight increase in the number of casualties among Afghan military members, who have sustained massive losses over the past five years.
September was the deadliest month in 2019. The Afghan Taliban increased their attacks in September during the Afghan presidential elections. There was highest number of causalities in September since 2010.   
The US has for months been calling on the militants to reduce violence, but both sides have said little in recent days about the status of talks and the Kabul government wants the US to push for a full ceasefire.
                                                         R A Burki  

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