KABUL: Amid an increase in insurgent attacks, the US Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) reported a 50% increase in militant attacks in the past three months compared to preceding quarter.
According to the organization, between July and September, 876 civilians were killed and 1,685 others were injured.
This figure shows an increase of 43% compared to the previous quarter and a decrease of 36% compared to the same quarter last year.
The report quoted the Pentagon as saying that “the Taliban are using violence to harass and weaken the Afghan security and defense forces. By doing so, they may want to encourage US troops to withdraw and create the conditions they want in Afghanistan”.
The Pentagon has told SIGAR that continuing Taliban violence “in an unacceptable manner” could undermine the U.S. agreement with the Taliban.
The report quoted US forces in Afghanistan as saying that the total number of attacks launched by the Taliban in the past three months was higher than the average number of attacks this season.
The report blames “unknown insurgents” for most civilian casualties in the past three months. It said casualties from “unknown insurgent” attacks increased by 55% compared to the previous three months, and casualties from Taliban attacks by 42%.
The death toll from attacks by Afghan security forces has also doubled.
SIGAR expressed concern about the spread of the coronavirus and how the virus is tested in Afghanistan, saying that less attention has been paid to women and rural areas.
The Taliban have not yet commented on the report.
The report also states that poverty in Afghanistan has surged from 55% before COVID-19 pandemic to 68% in 2020.