Taliban now terrorise 80% of Afghanistan after eight years of war: Report

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Kabul, Sep. 11 (ANI): Almost eight years after the war began in Afghanistan in the aftermath of the 9/11 carnage, the Taliban insurgency has spread across 80 percent of the country.

The violent incidents this week have drawn attention to the deteriorating security situation of northern Afghanistan, which had largely remained peaceful so far, the Christian Science Monitor reports.

The northern provinces are facing difficult times as heavy insurgent activity has spread to 80 percent of the country - up from 54 percent two years ago, the report says.

The militants' focus has shifted to northern parts following continuous pressure from their Pakistani counterparts to attack NATO's second supply route situated here, it adds.

"[Militants] have been trying to widen the ground for the insurgency in Afghanistan and now they have got momentum. The militants are eager to target this route to prevent a smooth supply chain from northern Afghanistan," the report quoted Waliullah Rahmani, executive director of the Kabul Center for Strategic Studies, as saying.

Last week's airstrike targeted two fuel tankers headed to supply NATO troops in Kabul that had been hijacked by the Taliban.

Although the increase in violence is only a recent phenomenon, the conditions had worsened long ago, the report says.

The violence can be linked to districts with large Pashtun populations, whose grievances the government has failed to address - making them sympathetic to the Taliban, who share their ethnicity and language, it adds.

"The districts which are turning violent are those which have had a very recent history of abuses against the Pashtuns.

The government has allowed these conditions to go unaddressed and this is now being addressed by the population by giving shelter to the Taliban and other insurgents,"the report quoted Prakhar Sharma, the head of research at the Center for Conflict and Peace Studies, as saying.(ANI)

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