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‘Taliban masterminded over 8,200 attacks in October & December’

AT Monitoring Desk

KABUL: Militant attacks against American troops and other targets in Afghanistan hit a record high in the final months of last year, an US federal watchdog said Friday.

In a report, the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) said the rebels conducted more than 8,200 attacks between October and December.

About 40 percent of the assaults led to casualties among pro-government forces and civilians, the Stars and Stripes said, citing the SIGAR report.

The insurgent attack figurewas the highest for a fourth quarter of any year in a decade. The attacks saw a spike in September, when the presidential election was conducted and the US halted talks with the Taliban.

Casualties throughout Afghanistan’s military and police forces slightly rose between May and October, compared to the same period in 2018,

But the Ministry of Defence in Kabul denied an uptick in rebel attacks.“The Taliban are no longer able to carry out offensive operations. Their war machine is seriously damaged.”

Congress has appropriated $4.2 billion to fund the Afghan forces in 2020, according to the report,which said less than 13,000 US troops were currently in Afghanistan.

The report noteda rise in poverty and slower anti-corruption efforts.“SIGAR remains concerned that the Afghan government is more interested in checking off boxes for the international community than in actually uprooting its corruption problem.”

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