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US military build-up in Kandahar will bolster Taliban: Afghan report

By Nairita Das

London, July 19 (ANI): The US military build-up in Kandahar is likely to further strengthen the hold of the Taliban over the vital southern Afghanistan city, a report by the Afghanistan NGO Security Office, has warned.

The Guardian quoted its report as revealing that June marked a record for Taliban attacks - up 51 percent on the previous year to 1,319 operations.

At the same time the number of civilians killed by both sides of the conflict rose by 23 percent, despite the efforts of NATO forces to avoid killing innocent bystanders.

The organisation also said attacks on private development organisations working on projects designed to win the support of ordinary Afghans had shot up, with more than 30 workers killed in the first three months of the year.

"We do not support the [counter-insurgency] perspective that this constitutes 'things getting worse before they get better', but rather see it as being consistent with the five-year trend of things just getting worse," the report said.

The report was published days before the world's foreign ministers gather in Kabul to discuss the international community's future role in Afghanistan.

The report has also raised concerns about the increasing use of local people to defend their own villages - a strategy that David Petraeus, the US commander of NATO forces in the country strongly favour. (ANI)

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