The UN said on Tuesday that 30,672 people have been displaced in Afghanistan since the beginning of the year due to continued conflict. According to a report by the UN Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, the people were displaced between Jan. 1 and March 11.
The UN said the highest number of displacements was in Kunduz and Takhar provinces.
UN said that over 445,000 people were displaced due to conflict in the country in 2017.
“Afghan security forces have been stretched thin as fighting escalated after winter ended,’’ the UN said. The military is battling a Taliban insurgency while also fighting the Islamic State group’s gradual expansion in the country’s north and its regular attacks in the capital Kabul.
U.S. Defence Secretary Jim Mattis arrived in Kabul in an unannounced visit, Tom Gresback, the spokesman of U.S. and NATO’s Resolute Support mission in Afghanistan, told newsmen.
It marks Mattis’ third visit to the country, where about 11,000 U.S. troops are stationed. Mattis previously visited Afghanistan in April and September 2017. U.S. President Donald Trump in August announced an increase in the number of U.S. troops in the country to push back the resurgent Taliban.
Afghanistan’s President Ashraf Ghani recently offered a comprehensive peace deal to the Taliban, but the militants have not responded and have increased their attacks.
Previous peace offers to the militants were refused. According to the country’s military, slightly over 14 per cent of Afghanistan’s approximately 400 districts are fully controlled by the Taliban while 30 per cent are contested