KABUL: A senior Nato commander has said that 80 per cent of Afghanistan is free of violence but warned that an insurgency still rages in the south and east, “fuelled by fighters coming from Pakistan”.
“About 80 per cent of Afghan territory and the Afghan population are not affected by security problems or violence,” Lt-Gen Olivier de Bavinchove said in an interview.
“On the other hand, there is a huge contrast when it comes to security between the different regions and districts,” said Bavinchove, chief of staff of Nato’s International Security Assistance Force (Isaf).
His claims contrast sharply with United Nations numbers showing that August was the second deadliest month in five years for Afghan civilians, with a total of 374 — more than 10 a day — killed and 581 injured.
Despite that the head of French forces in the country said the north and west were peaceful, with signs of development and improved governance, and sparsely populated central Afghanistan was almost entirely safe.
“Then we have the frontier zones in the east and south of the country, where an insurrection is quite active, very localised most of the time, but which is supported by fighters coming mainly from Pakistan,” he added.
“Isaf’s efforts are today particularly focused on these areas.”—AFP