RealNews

Taliban Fighters Increase Attacks

Attacks against American troops in Afghanistan and Afghan security forces and civilians have increased steadily in the past several months, posing new hurdles for reconstruction and political stability efforts, American commanders and Afghan officials say. Fighting has intensified, particularly in the east along the rugged, 1,500-mile border with Pakistan and in the south near Kandahar. Twenty-three American troops have died from ambushes, land mines and other hostile fire this year, compared with 12 combat deaths in all of 2003, according to military statistics. An increasingly popular weapon may have been inspired by insurgents in Iraq: remote-controlled bombs. The Taliban have stepped up recruiting in the south and intensified strikes against newly trained Afghan soldiers and police officers, as well as foreign-aid workers. This week, the international aid agency Doctors Without Borders said it was withdrawing from Afghanistan after 24 years, in part because of the deteriorating security there. Full Story

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