Taliban have a presence in 72 percent of Afghanistan: ICOS

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Kabul, Dec 8 (ANI): An international think tank has said that the Taliban holds a permanent presence in 72 percent of Afghanistan, but NATO denied the observation, saying the figures were not credible. It said it was impossible for militants to control large parts of the country.

The findings by the International Council on Security and Development (ICOS) come in the wake of a series of critical reports on Western-led military and development efforts to put an end to the seven-year Taliban insurgency in Afghanistan, The News reported.

"The Taliban now has a permanent presence in 72 percent of the country," ICOS, formerly known as the Senlis Council, said in the report, adding that the figure had risen from 54 percent last year.

The report defines a permanent presence as an average of one or more insurgent attacks per week over the entire year.

According to ICOS, a "permanent presence" then would include many areas of the country where the Taliban traditionally launch a large number of attacks in the spring and summer "fighting season," before melting away during the harsh winter months. (ANI)

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