Rising Violence as NATO takes charge of Southern Afghanistan

July 2006 was officially the bloodiest month in Afghanistan since the US-led invasion of the country in November 2001. It is estimated that between January and August at least 1,700 people were killed in fighting across the country. The death toll was a result of operations by foreign troops-involving heavy air bombardment of villages mainly in the south-and attacks by insurgent guerrillas, armed drug barons and Taliban fighters.

In July, a British and Canadian-led NATO force officially took control of the south of Afghanistan. The US-trained Afghan army is supposed to take over security responsibilities from NATO, but according to the US general in charge of training the army, this will not be able to happen for at least three more years.

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