Taliban militants in Pakistan have raided
another supply depot used to support international troops in
Afghanistan as a new report estimated
Taliban fighters have a permanent presence in nearly three-quarters of
the past two days militants have stormed two warehouses in Peshawar
that are key transport hubs for supply convoys moving between the
Pakistani port of Karachi and military bases in Afghanistan.
assault by an estimated 300 fighters destroyed more than 160 trucks and
military vehicles. On Monday, militants targeted another depot just two
kilometers away, setting fire to about 50 shipping containers.
straddles Taliban-dominated areas of western Pakistan and has long been
a key regional transit route. An estimated 70 percent of supplies for
foreign troops in Afghanistan pass through the area. More than 90
percent of Afghanistan's foreign food aid relies on the route.
military spokesman Colonel Jerry Ohara in Kabul downplayed the
significance of the most recent raids, but said officials continue to
consider alternate supply routes into Afghanistan.
reports indicate this equipment was for the Afghan National Army. There
are no immediate effects on our combat capability, but one of our
priorities is to get the Afghan security force to increase their
capability and capacity," he said.
Boosting the capabilities of Afghanistan's army and police remains a key part of improving security in the country.
Analysts say Afghanistan security situation is worsening
But a new report by an international think tank said security is worsening in the country, even in the capital Kabul.
International Council on Security and Development said militant groups
are surrounding Kabul, endangering three of the four major roads into
the city. ICOS has been studying security issues in Afghanistan for
several years, and was previously known as the Senlis Council.
ICOS Director Paul Burton said the Taliban has a permanent presence in 72 percent of the country, up from 54 percent last year.
increase in the Taliban's geographic spread illustrates they are now
controlling the political and military dynamic in the country. And
their superior tactics and strategies are now proven more successful
than those used by the West," Burton said.
Officials rebuff criticism
and NATO officials have rejected the findings, saying they overstate
the Taliban's capabilities. U.N. officials who recently visited
Afghanistan called the situation "difficult", but not a security
researchers said Taliban factions and criminal gangs are now loosely
working together to create insecurity and undermine support for the
government. The group said the Afghan government and international
troops have done little to respond to the militants' changing tactics.
recommended doubling the number of NATO troops, building a bigger jobs
creation program, and licensing some legal poppy cultivation for
group also called for better integrating foreign military operations
and humanitarian projects by creating a joint civil-military command.