US bombing of Afghanistan hits 10-year high

WION Web Team New Delhi, Delhi, india Jan 28, 2020, 09.58 PM(IST)

File photo. Photograph:( AFP )

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The data represented a dramatic surge in bombings in Afghanistan compared to the peak of President Barack Obama's 'surge' in 2009, when 4,147 bombs were dropped.

American warplanes dropped more bombs on Afghanistan in 2019 than at any other time in the last decade, a report by US Air Force revealed on Tuesday.

According to the figures mentioned in the report by US Air Force Central Command, the US dropped 7,423 separate munitions on targets in Afghanistan in 2019.

The data represented a dramatic surge in bombings in Afghanistan compared to the peak of President Barack Obama's "surge" in 2009, when 4,147 bombs were dropped.

Also read: No indication US plane crash caused by enemy fire: Pentagon denies Taliban's claim

The latest development comes as Washington is amid the troop withdrawal talks with Afghan-Taliban. The two sides had been negotiating an agreement for a year and were close to an announcement in September 2019, but the talks were halted after US President Donald Trump abruptly declared the process "dead", citing Taliban violence.

Since President Donald Trump was elected in 2016 the US has ramped up bombing runs over Afghanistan as the White House removed earlier restrictions that provided greater oversight over air raids aimed at preventing civilian casualties.

The UN and rights groups have repeatedly voiced concerns that the increase in airstrikes across the country by the US and Afghan forces have resulted in a major upswing in civilian casualties.

During the first half of 2019 pro-government forces, including the US, killed 717 civilians, an increase of 31 per cent from a year earlier, the UN reported last year.

Meanwhile, a US plane crashed in Afghanistan's Ghazni province on Monday killing all people onboard.

The Taliban had claimed that it had brought down the plane. The area where the plane crashed is Taliban territory, however, Afghanistan US Forces spokesman Colonel Sonny Leggett dismissed reports of the plane being shot down by enemy fire.

(With inputs from agencies)