Militant attacks in Afghanistan rise by 11 pc in past three months compared to last year
Kabul, July 27 (ANI): The number of insurgent attacks in Afghanistan during the past three months has risen by 11 percent, compared to the same period last year, according to the U.S.-led coalition.
According to The Wall Street Journal, the increase in attacks comes almost a year after decline in attacks, providing fuel for debate that the Taliban is regaining momentum in the country as American troops leave.
The number of attacks in June was the highest with roughly about 110 attacks a day, according to coalition statistics.
June had more 'enemy-initiated attacks', insurgent gunfire, rocket fire and detonated roadside bombs and mines, than any period since fighting peaked in August-September 2010.
A coalition spokesman in Kabul said the recent uptick in enemy attacks was caused by the deployment of more Afghan forces into contested areas and by an unusually short poppy harvest season that gave insurgents more time to prepare.
Some experts, however, see the increase in attacks as a sign the Taliban are gaining momentum.
"The numbers indicate that the Afghan Taliban and their Pakistani patrons are confident that they still have the upper hand. They certainly are far from defeated," Bruce Riedel, a former Central Intelligence Agency executive, who oversaw the Obama administration's Afghanistan policy review in 2009, and is a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution in Washington, said.
Most insurgent attacks in recent months were concentrated in Kandahar, Helmand and other southern provinces, the Taliban's historical cradle and the focus of President Barack Obama's 2010 troop surge.
"For now, the increase in Taliban activity is unlikely to change the coalition's withdrawal plans or turn Afghanistan into a campaign issue in the U.S. presidential elections", Brian Katulis, senior fellow at the Center for American Progress, a think-tank close to the Obama administration, said. (ANI)
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