U.N. Says Taliban Are Impeding Aid

March 12th, 2008  
Team Infidel

Topic: U.N. Says Taliban Are Impeding Aid

New York Times
March 12, 2008
Pg. 6

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — A tenth of Afghanistan is off limits to aid workers because of attacks by Taliban insurgents, hindering the delivery of assistance to vulnerable Afghans, a United Nations report says.
The assessment echoes a finding by the director of national intelligence, Mike McConnell, who told a Senate committee last month that Taliban insurgents controlled about 10 percent of the country.
Afghanistan’s intelligence chief, Amrullah Saleh, said in response this month that only 8 of Afghanistan’s 364 districts were not under government control.
But the United Nations report, released in New York on Monday, said 36 districts — including most of those in the east, southeast and south — are largely inaccessible to Afghan officials and aid workers.
“Despite tactical successes by national and international military forces, the antigovernment elements are far from defeated,” the report said.
It said violence last year was at the highest level since an offensive led by the United States toppled the Taliban in late 2001.
There were 160 suicide attacks and 68 thwarted attempts in 2007, compared with 123 suicide attacks and 17 failed attempts in 2006, it said.
Afghanistan had more than 8,000 conflict-related deaths last year, including 1,500 civilian deaths, the United Nations said.

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