Taliban active in 70 percent of Afghanistan: BBC study

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Taliban fighters, whom US-led forces spent billions of dollars trying to defeat, are now openly active in 70% of Afghanistan.

"As of October 2017, approximately 56 percent of the country's 407 districts are under Afghan government control or influence, 30 percent remain contested and approximately 14 percent are now under insurgent control or influence", said Navy Capt. Tom Gresback, a US military spokesman.

This comes after a spokesman for Pakistan's Foreign Office Mohammad Faisal claimed on Tuesday that Pakistan handed over 27 individuals suspected of having ties to Taliban and Haqqani network to Afghan officials past year.

A bomb hidden in an ambulance struck the city centre and killed more than 100 people, just over a week after an attack on the Hotel Intercontinental, also in Kabul, which left more than 20 people dead, including four U.S. citizens. The reason behind the discrepancy was not immediately clear.

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The Afghan government rejected reports on Wednesday that Pakistan handed over 27 Taliban and Haqqani network prisoners to Afghanistan a year ago.

On the other hand, SIGAR noted that the Pentagon still hasn't gotten in touch with them about the matter, and still hasn't given them permission to include the data in the report, despite claiming to the media that the restriction was in error.

Those figures represent a substantial decrease from November 2015, when the Afghan government controlled 72 percent of territories, insurgents held 7 percent and 21 percent were contested, according to the Department of Defense data.

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