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Taliban may carry out 'spectacular attacks': UN envoy

Warning that the situation in war torn Afghanistan could turn worse in the short term, the United Nations envoy in the nation has predicted that Taliban may carry out "spectacular attacks" in the coming weeks.

world Updated: Dec 23, 2010 13:48 IST

Warning that the situation in war torn Afghanistan could turn worse in the short term, the United Nations envoy in the nation has predicted that Taliban may carry out "spectacular attacks" in the coming weeks.

"We are detecting from the anti-Government elements an attempt to show some spectacular attacks," secretary general's special representative Staffan de Mistura told the Security Council.

He said, this sudden Taliban upsurge could be the result of the intense heat and pressure that the terrorist grouping is facing from the reinforced US and NATO forces.

"I m afraid for the next few months for some tense security environment... Our assessment is before it gets better it may get worse," he said briefing the Security Council on the latest situation in the country.

He said that it had dawned on the Taliban that they cannot win in the war going on for nearly a decade now and the only solution is a political agreement.

Mistura said that it had become imperative now that nations backed the governments peace initiatives, which also should be backed by the world body.

The UN envoy said that facing an intense pressure in southern Afghanistan, Taliban were attempting to divert international attention by attacking in new areas particularly the more secure Northern Afghanistan, "where you're expecting them to be in action".

The envoy said that the latest assessment show that Afghan forces for the first time in the last two years have begun to regain the military initiative.

Mistura said that conditions were becoming more favorable and there may soon be real opportunity for a political dialogue leading to a settlement.

The Security Council members later reiterated that the recent elections carried out under difficult security conditions under full Afghan ownership constituted an important milestone in the vital political process in the country.

In his report, the UN secretary general Ban ki Moon noted that the election process was far from flawless, but he commended the Afghan electoral institutions and their independence and integrity for having organized such a complicated operation in a difficult, political, security and geographic environment.

Ban in his report covering past three months said that the security incidence rose by 66% compared to same period in 2009. The report documented a preliminary figure of 6215 conflict related civilian casualties over the ten-month period including 2412 deaths and 3830 injuries.

The new report comes after media reports said that international troop casualties in Afghanistan had topped 700 in 2010.