General Michael Maples, head of US Defence Intelligence Agency, has warned that violence in Afghanistan is likely to rise, with the insurgents expanding their operations and abilities, in spite of suffering huge causalities in the recent past. General Maples told the congress that the insurgents in Afghanistan have strengthened their influence and capabilities with their core base of Pashtun communities. A report released by NATO earlier this week, said that anti-government fighters were launching on average 600 attacks a month in Afghanistan, more than four times the number attacks seen in 2005. The frequency of attacks fell in the past month, but the UN Security Council delegation in Afghanistan has called for more international support to strengthen the security in this war torn country.

General Maples defended the government of President Hamid Karzai in Afghanistan, saying that President Karzai understands the situation in Afghanistan and recognizes his government’s responsibility. According to Human Rights Watch, more than 3,000 people have been killed in violence in Afghanistan this year, a four-fold rise in the number of people killed, when compared to last year. Most of these victims were innocent civilians, who were caught in the cross-fire in the war between the insurgents and the coalition troops. General Maples predicts that the insurgents are likely to sustain their use of more visible, aggressive and lethal tactics, in 2007.

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