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Afghan violence increases over 2007: UN

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KABUL, Dec 3, 2007 (AFP) – Violence has grown “slightly” in Afghanistan over 2007 but there has also been an improvement in efforts to defeat the Taliban-led insurgency, the United Nations mission said Monday.

“The violence is slightly stronger this year, the number of suicide attacks slightly larger,” UN deputy special representative to Afghanistan, Chris Alexander, told reporters.

“But I will insist that the quality of the efforts, military efforts and civilian efforts, to counter the insurgency is improving and has improved.”

The hardline Taliban launched their campaign after being forced out of government in late 2001.

This year, the violence has claimed around 6,000 lives, including about 210 foreign soldiers, and there have been some 130 suicide blasts, including the worst in Afghanistan’s history which killed nearly 80 people.

To help combat the increasing Taliban threat to the first democratically elected government, more than 55,000 foreign soldiers mainly under NATO command are fighting alongside and training the growing Afghan forces.

“The Urdu-e-Mili (Afghan army) for example is now operating independently and very effectively in operations at battalion level and even brigade level,” Alexander said.

“The performance of the police in spite of all their challenges … has also improved,” he said.

The Afghan police, who are badly paid and often corrupt, are the most attacked of the all the security forces in Afghanistan, losing around 700 men this year.

Alexander said efforts by the government and its international allies to build the country, including the security forces, “has prevented the insurgency from growing as fast as it grew last year.”

“The challenge next year is to make those efforts even stronger to the point where the insurgency itself starts to decline in intensity,” he added.


Written by afghandevnews

December 4, 2007 at 3:18 pm

Posted in Security

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