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Afghanistan Unsafe for Aid Workers

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By Associated Press
March 12, 2008
A D V E R T I S E M E N T
A D V E R T I S E M E N T

KABUL, Afghanistan — A tenth of Afghanistan is off limits to aid workers because attacks by Taliban insurgents make it too dangerous, hindering the delivery of humanitarian assistance to vulnerable Afghans, a United Nations report says.

The assessment echoes a finding by the director of American national intelligence, who told a Senate committee last month that Taliban insurgents control about 10% of the country.

That judgment by Michael McConnell was hotly disputed by Afghan officials. Afghanistan’s intelligence chief, Amrullah Saleh, said in response earlier this month that only eight of Afghanistan’s 364 districts were not in government control.

But the U.N. report, released in New York on Monday, said 36 districts — including most of those in the east, southeast and south — are largely inaccessible to Afghan officials and aid workers.

“Despite tactical successes by national and international military forces, the anti-government elements are far from defeated,” the report said.

The report said violence last year was at the highest level since an American-led offensive toppled the hard-line Taliban regime in late 2001. There were 160 suicide attacks and 68 thwarted attempts in 2007, compared to 123 suicide attacks and 17 failed attempts in 2006, it said.

Afghanistan had more than 8,000 conflict-related deaths last year, including 1,500 civilian deaths, the U.N. said.

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Written by afghandevnews

March 16, 2008 at 5:20 am

Posted in Security

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