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HomeNewsInternational NewsTaliban surge an ‘existential crisis’ for Afghan gov’t: Watchdog

Taliban surge an ‘existential crisis’ for Afghan gov’t: Watchdog

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(Al Jazeera) – SIGAR report says Taliban attacks on Afghan targets surged from 6,700 in early 2020 to 13,242 by the end of the year.

The Afghan government faces an “existential crisis” after the Taliban doubled its attacks following the February 2020 deal with the United States, a watchdog report says.

The report (PDF), published on Thursday, said Taliban attacks on Afghan targets surged from 6,700 in the three months up to the Doha agreement to 13,242 in the September-November 2020 period.

Attacks have stayed above 10,000 in each subsequent three-month period, according to the report by the US Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR).

While the rise in attacks has long been clear, data was previously available to demonstrate how intense the rebels’ offensive had become.

The US agreed to withdraw all troops from Afghanistan with the expectation that the Taliban would negotiate a peace deal with the Kabul government.

Since then, the Taliban-government talks have stalled but the US has steadily pulled out troops to a level of only several hundred now, with an August 31 deadline for full withdrawal.

The SIGAR report makes clear that the Doha agreement, instead of propelling Taliban-Kabul talks, unleashed a Taliban offensive that caught government forces unprepared and increased the number of civilian deaths.

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