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  • September was the worst month of 2019 with the highest number of attacks in any month since June 2012.

    September was the worst month of 2019 with the highest number of attacks in any month since June 2012. | Photo: Reuters

Published 2 February 2020

The report noted a correlation between the attacks and the progress in U.S.-Taliban talks.

The number of deadly attacks in Afghanistan has increased significantly in the last quarter of 2019 compared with previous years, according to a report released Friday by the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR).

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From October to December 2019, 8,204 violent attacks were recorded, representing an increase of 1,230 in comparison with 2018 in the same period, the watchdog revealed. 

Moreover, this was the highest number of attacks in the same three-month period of any year since recording began in 2010.

September was the worst month of 2019 with the highest number of attacks in any month since June 2012, it was also when the first round of the Afghan presidential election was held.

SIGAR observed a correlation between the attacks and the progress in U.S.-Taliban talks, with the incidents surging after U.S. President Donald Trump temporarily stopped the negotiations in September.

“When looking at 2019 as a whole, enemy attacks appeared to decline early in the year while peace talks were ongoing. But a turbulent last six months resulted in increases in overall enemy attacks (four percent) in 2019 compared to the already high levels reported in 2018,” the report submitted to the U.S. Congress said.

SIGAR's report also found that Afghanistan's security forces struggled to fight the Taliban, largely relying on U.S. support.

Meanwhile, the Pentagon has continued to increase its military operation in the South Asian country

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In an apparent bid to force concessions from the Taliban, the U.S. dropped more bombs on Afghanistan in 2019 than any other year, according to the U.S. Air Force.

U.S. warplanes dropped 7,423 bombs and other munitions on Afghanistan, a nearly eightfold increase from 2015.

Washington and the Taliban are still wrangling over a possible deal that would see U.S. troops leave Afghanistan in exchange for security guarantees.

Both sides have said little in recent days about the status of the talks, while the Kabul government wants the U.S. to push for a total ceasefire.

SIGAR, is a U.S. government's leading oversight authority on Afghan reconstruction. It was founded in 2008 to provide independent supervision of the situation in the country. 

Afghanistan continues to be Washington’s longest conflict. The war started following the Sept. 11 attacks in 2001 when the U.S. invaded Afghanistan as part of the so-called "war on terror," to dismantle Al-Qaeda by removing the Taliban from power. 

More than 220,000 people have died as a result of the invasion.

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