Afghanistan. At the beginning of the year, the UN
reported that nearly 3,500 civilians had been killed in the
conflict in Afghanistan in 2016. Nearly 8,000 civilians were
injured during the same period. According to the report,
there are clashes between security forces and armed
anti-government groups (including the Taliban and the
Islamic State) that kill most civilian victims. At the end
of the first half of 2017, the UN reported that nearly 1,700
civilians had been killed and more than 3,500 injured. Of
the dead, nearly 450 were children. That makes the first
half of 2017 the deadliest ever for civilians in
to Countryaah.com, the escalated violence led, among other things, to
Afghanistan deciding to double its security force from
17,000 soldiers. In March, Afghan forces controlled only 57%
of the country, compared to a year earlier when controlling
72%. NATO also planned to increase the number of soldiers by
"a few thousand," according to NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg,
but these would not be used in combat. In June, the United
States decided to send nearly 4,000 soldiers to the country.
In January, the United States had nearly 8,500 military
personnel in Afghanistan - despite outgoing President Barack
Obama's desire for the majority to be withdrawn. In August,
against his election promises, President Donald Trump
promised that the United States would increase its
involvement in the country. He wanted to give the US forces
greater powers for action against terrorists. Trump said the
United States was not in Afghanistan to "build a country"
but to "kill terrorists." US Secretary of Defense James
Mattis was therefore commissioned to send another 4,000
soldiers to the country. The same month, the Pentagon
Defense Headquarters announced that the number of US
soldiers was higher than previously stated, the correct
figure was 11,000. This means that the total number of US
soldiers in the future will amount to 15,000.
In March, an evaluation of the Swedish military operation
in Afghanistan came in 2002-14. Investigator Tone Tingsgård
found that the effort was far from approved. The forces did
not contribute to the security of the country or to the
fight against poverty, which were some of the goals. Nor had
they succeeded in training the local security forces.
However, according to the investigator, the Swedish effort
in Afghanistan meant that the Armed Forces' own ability
increased. The bill for the Swedish commitment was between
SEK 18.7 and 27.5 billion and five fallen soldiers.
In June, Afghanistan appealed to Sweden and the EU to
stop their deportations to Afghanistan, as a human return
can no longer be guaranteed. A memorandum of understanding
had been signed in October 2016 on returning Afghans, but
according to Afghanistan's Deputy Refugee Minister Alema
Alema this was now terminated. In August, unanimous Afghan
asylum seekers in Stockholm demonstrated to stop
deportations from Sweden. In the same month, Afghan Refugee
Minister Sayed Hussain appealed to Alemi Balkhi for Sweden
to follow the German decision to stop the deportations.
Several bombings took place during the year, many in the
capital Kabul. In January, the Taliban attacked a minibus
with staff at the country's intelligence service near
Parliament; at least 21 people died. In February, 20 people
died outside the Supreme Court in the capital by suicide. On
May 31, a car bomb detonated near the German embassy in
Kabul; at least 150 people died and over 400 were injured.
It was the bloodiest attack in Kabul since 2001. In
connection with government-critical demonstrations a few
days after the deed, security forces killed at least five
people, and a little later, June 3, 20 people died in the
funerals of the dead protesters.
In July, at least 35 people in western Kabul died of a
car bomb signed by the Taliban and targeted by mines
ministry officials. The same month, Iraq's embassy in Kabul
was attacked by four members of the Islamic State (IS)
terror group. After a few hours of fighting, the IS fighters
and at least two Afghan guards had been killed. On October
20, at least 39 people were killed by a suicide bomber at
the Imam-Zaman Shiite Mosque in the capital. In March, IS
terrorists dressed as doctors attacked the largest military
hospital in the country; At least 30 people, most patients,
doctors and nurses, die in the six-hour attack.
In April, an Afghan military base near Mazar-e Sharif was
attacked by ten Taliban dressed in Afghan army uniforms;
over 140 soldiers died in the attack, which is said to be
the deadliest to date against an Afghan military base. One
day after the act, both Defense Minister Abdullah Habibi and
Qadam Shah Shahim were forced to retire because of their
"inability to prevent attacks". At the end of December, at
least 40 people died in Afghanistan's capital, Kabul. There
were several explosions against the Shiite Muslim cultural
center Tabayan, where a ceremony was held to mark the 38th
anniversary of the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. The
Islamic State took on the attack.
In the pursuit of IS terrorists, the United States
released the largest bomb (GBU-43, weight 10 tons) with
conventional charge used so far in combat. The bomb was
supposed to strike the terrorist tunnel complex in the Achin
district of eastern Afghanistan, where between 600 and 800
IS fighters are believed to be located. Some 90 days after
the bomb, about 90 deaths were confirmed.
In February, the country was hit by heavy snowfall near
the Pakistan border. More than 100 people are believed to
have died in various avalanches triggered by the storm.