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Rampant violence in Afghanistan raising new alarms

The Taliban

The Taliban

The United States, and later its anti-terror coalition partners, moved into Afghanistan militarily after the 2001 radical Muslim attacks on Washington and New York City to root out and bring to justice the terrorists who killed nearly 3,000 innocent Americans.

Years later, before the Afghans officially took over the mission of their own nation’s stability, with the close of the International Security Assistance Force Mission at the end of 2014, the U.S. had lost nearly 2,300 military service members, and saw another 20,000 wounded there. At one point the U.S. had about 100,000 members of its military there.

But it now appears that outside help is going to be needed again, as violence has left “thousands” dead and has surged in ways that now even are impacting its neighbor, Pakistan, and creating international concern, according to a report in Joseph Farah’s G2 Bulletin.

For example, the Express-Tribune reported just Friday that a team of Afghan soldiers fired on a census team in Chaman, inside Pakistan, killing at least seven people and injuring another 38.

The report said mortar shells from the Afghanistan side of the border hit houses in a village called Kali Luqman, and at least three children were injured there.

The report contained a statement from Pakistani officials that if such “incidents” do not stop, Pakistan reserves the right to respond “to preserve its sovereignty and protect its civilians.”

“It is the responsibility of the Afghan government to ensure that such incidents are permanently topped,” said a communique from the office of the Pakistani prime minister.

Afghani officials, meanwhile, have been enraged because of previous attacks, including those on American University in Kabul and on Mazar-e-Sharif.

They have been demanding the perpetrators be turned over to Afghanistan, and the conflict was so deep Afghan President Ashraf Ghani recently turned down an invitation to visit Pakistan.

A recent U.S. government report cited the surging violence and bloodshed in Afghanistan. NBC said the report “paints a picture of increased violence and bloodshed in the war-torn nation and suggests that preventing the Taliban and other insurgents from increasing their control of the countryside will continue to be a ‘challenge’ for Afghan security forces.”

The report is from the Office of the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction.

The report finds the casualties “shockingly high” and confirmed that during the first six weeks of 2016, 807 security forces personnel were killed by Taliban factions.

“Mass casualty attacks against civilian targets also increased. The report cited an attack that killed 50 people at Afghanistan’s largest military hospital on March 8 and another that killed two investigators from the Major Crimes Task Force on April 10,” NBC said.

The casualties during 2016 totaled 11,418, putting it in line with a full-scale war across the nation.

And the number of Afghans fleeing for the lives – up 40 percent from 2015 – totaled more than 660,000.

The U.S. report explained how holding insurgents to their own territory was increasingly becoming “a challenge for the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces.”

For the rest of this report, and more, please go to Joseph Farah’s G2 Bulletin.

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