THE latest wave of terror attacks in Kabul that has claimed dozens of civilian lives marks the bloodiest phase of the so far 16-year war with the insurgents getting more audacious. The escalation in fighting raises questions about the new US-Afghan strategy. Not that the Afghan capital has not witnessed such high-profile terrorist attacks before, but the ferocity and the frequency of assaults is alarming.
Three attacks in a week in high-security zones indicate the increasing capacity and the organisation of the insurgents despite massive escalation in the US air strikes. While the Afghan Taliban claimed responsibility for two of the first two attacks, the militant Islamic State (IS) group reportedly carried out the third one. The insurgents have taken the war into the nation’s capital. The rising toll of civilian casualties is disturbing.
It signals a shift in insurgent strategy — from gaining territorial control to focusing more on the capital to test the mettle of the Afghan security forces. It seems that the Afghan Taliban and IS are competing when it comes to carnage in the besieged capital and other towns and cities in Afghanistan. The chaos resulting from the violence serves the objective of these militant groups — to undermine the confidence of the Kabul administration.