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Taliban surge poses ‘existential crisis’: US watchdog SIGAR

By ET News

The Afghan government faces an “existential crisis” after the Taliban doubled their attacks following the February 2020 US deal with the insurgents, a watchdog report said Thursday.

The report 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 had long been clear, data had not previously been available to demonstrate how intense the rebels’ offensive had become.

The United States agreed to withdraw all troops from Afghanistan in expectation 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.

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