This year has been the most violent in Afghanistan since war began in the country in 2001, with civilian deaths rising because of increased insecurity, a local rights group says.
“A massive US-led increase in troops has failed to quell the Taliban-led insurgency”, Afghanistan Rights Monitor (ARM) was quoted by the AFP as saying.
“In terms of insecurity, 2010 has been the worst year since the demise of the Taliban regime in late 2001,” it said.
ARM underlined the number of security incidents as well as the extent of the insurgency and counter-insurgency-related violence has ‘dramatically’ increased.
At least 1,074 civilians were killed and more than 1,500 injured in war-related incidents in the first six months of 2010, compared with 1,059 killed in the same period last year, ARM said.
In late December, US President Barack Obama ordered an extra 30,000 American troops into Afghanistan as part of a new counter-insurgency strategy designed to reverse the Taliban momentum and speed up an end to the nine-year war.
But ARM’s mid-year report “Civilian Casualties of Conflict” said Obama’s policy of intensifying operations against the Taliban has not disrupted, dismantled or defeated the insurgents.
On the contrary, it says, “the insurgency has become more
resilient, multi-structured and deadly”.
“Up to 1,200 security incidents were recorded in June, the highest number of incidents compared to any month since 2002,” it said.
Most civilian deaths — 661 — were caused by Taliban
insurgents, who showed “little or no respect for the safety and protection of non-combatants in their armed rebellion against the government and its foreign supporters,” it said.