(KABUL, Afghanistan) — There’s evidence that the Taliban might be regaining its footing in Afghanistan after the U.S. has started its gradual withdrawal set to be completed by 2014.
A coalition spokesman on Thursday said that insurgent attacks from April through June were up 11 percent compared to the same period one year ago.
Meanwhile, June also experienced the most daily attacks by the enemy since the war started in October 2001. These include assaults by roadside bombs, mines, gun and rocket fire.
While the coalition believes the spike has to do with Afghan forces taking more responsibility for their own security, others are concerned that the Taliban is feeling emboldened by the eventual withdrawal of all international forces set for two years from now.
However, the coalition in Afghanistan is pushing back against such criticism, saying, “By forcing insurgents out of the more heavily populated areas…where violence has declined significantly, we can anticipate the insurgency will attempt to increase its attacks, primarily using improvised explosive devices and small-arms fire, in order to continue to retain influence and safe havens.”
In another yardstick of how the Taliban is faring lately, the death toll of coalition troops last month was 39, which is substantially less than the 66 killed in June 2011 and 103 soldiers slain in June 2010, which was after President Obama ordered a troop surge in Afghanistan.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Georgia McCafferty and Junko Ogura, CNN
Sheena McKenzie, CNN
Kevin Liptak, CNN
Rafael Romo and Emanuella Grinberg, CNN