RealNews

Afghanistan ends year of violence on path to democracy

Afghanistan in 2003 took its first halting steps along the path to democracy but at a price. A planned new constitution, designed to usher in the the war-ravaged country’s first free elections, has been joined by a surge in violence blamed on the ousted Taliban. More than two years after the toppling of the harsh regime by US-led forces, militants continue to launch almost daily attacks on US and Afghan troops and have increasingly targeted aid workers. Bloodshed across the south and southeast has claimed more than 400 lives since September, mostly suspected militants. At least 12 aid workers have been killed since March, including a French UN refugee agency worker who was shot dead last month in a daylight attack by suspected Taliban. The violence has hampered urgently-needed aid and reconstruction work as the country slowly emerges from decades of conflict, with relief agencies and the United Nations scaling back or suspending operations across swathes of southern and eastern Afghanistan. Full Story

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