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The Taliban's counter-surge

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With Obama's troop surge now half a year old, we can begin to see its effects on the Afghan Taliban. A couple of items in this week's news reveal a bolstered, rather than cowed, insurgency.

From the CBC:

A dramatic increase in the number of homemade bomb attacks is part of an "alarming trend" in Afghanistan, a UN report released Saturday said.

The report to the UN Security Council said bombings and assassinations have soared in the past four months amid ramped-up military operations in the Taliban-dominated south.

The number of attacks involving improvised explosive devices increased by 94 per cent over the same period in 2009, while assassinations of Afghan officials rose by 45 per cent. ... (link)

In other signs that the insurgency is not diminishing in force, officials admit that the northern province of Baghlan is thick with Taliban:

'All districts in Baghlan may fall into Taliban hands'
By Habib Rahman Sherzai

PUL-I-KHUMRI, June 16 (Pajhwok) - Baghlan provincial council members have warned of falling all the districts into the hands of Taliban, who are already in control of almost 11 districts in the northern province.

A fragile government's writ was prevailing in Barka, Tala Barfak, Farang, Khost and Dahna-i-Ghori districts, the council members told Pajhwok Afghan News. They added the remaining 11 districts were under complete control of the Taliban insurgents. ...

Residents have also confirmed the presence of Taliban in some of the districts. The Taliban have been in control of most parts of Barka district, they say.

A resident of the district, Abdul Ghayor, 50, said Taliban resolved their problems and imposed their own laws. The Afghan government could only control the district, he added. (link)

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