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article imageLast week shows highest casualty rate in Afghanistan this year

By Ken Hanly     Jul 6, 2019 in World
During the last few days of June and the beginning days of July at least 246 pro-government forces and 58 civilians were killed in Afghanistan. This is the highest toll so far this year.
The casualty rates are reported by the New York Times.
Worst day of the week
On June 30 in Kandahar Province 45 police officers and 8 civilians were killed in a Taliban attack on a military base. In the last report of casualties for the week June 21-27 there were 67 pro-government and 12 civilians killed.
Government refuses to make information public
Information about Afghan Security Forces has been restricted for the past couple of years and this includes information about casualties, capability assessment, and even more. Earlier in 2019 the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) John Sopko said that almost every metric for success or failure in Afghanistan is now either classified or non-existent. It is clear that officials want to keep from the public any information about what is happening in Afghanistan. This could very well be a sign that things are going quite badly.
President Trump's interview on Fox News
A recent article notes: "President Donald Trump said in a Fox News interview on Monday that Afghanistan is “the Harvard of terrorists,” and that while he wants to pull U.S. forces from the country, military officials have warned him against it." On the same day a car bomb in Kabul killed at least 40 people with about 50 of them being children.
Recent peace talks said to show progress
The Guardian recently reported: "The US peace envoy leading talks with the Taliban to end the war in Afghanistan said on Saturday the latest discussions were the “most productive session” to date. Zalmay Khalilzad said substantive progress had been made on all four parts of a peace deal: counter-terrorism assurances, troop withdrawal, participation in Intra-Afghan dialogue and negotiations, and a permanent and comprehensive ceasefire."
As reported in a recent Digital Journal article the draft agreement on peace is being rewritten.
Pompeo hopes for a peace deal with the Taliban by September 1
As reported: "US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Tuesday he hopes for a peace deal with the Taliban "before September 1", speaking as he made his first visit to Kabul since Washington launched talks with the insurgents last year." One of the appended videos shows Pompeo making the announcement.
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