"Violence across Afghanistan last year reached its worst levels since the Taliban were overthrown in late 2001, with record casualties on all sides of the conflict."...
5/9/11, "U.S. issues warning, violence grows across Afghanistan," Reuters
"The Taliban declared this month the start of a new "spring offensive." Dozens of insurgents had battled Afghan forces in Kandahar city since Saturday, holing up in a hotel and shopping mall before the last were killed on Sunday.
The battle paralyzed the city, with streets and shops closed as gunfire and explosions sent panicked residents fleeing.
Kandahar provincial governor Tooryalai Wesa said at least 20 attackers, many of them suicide bombers who had used explosives-packed vehicles, were killed during the operation.
Three Afghan troops and a civilian were also killed in battle that showed the Taliban retain the ability to launch telling strikes in an area where U.S. and Afghan leaders say significant progress has been made against the insurgents.
Wesa said 40 civilians and police were wounded.
Security officials took media to a building near Afghan intelligence offices in Kandahar where the last insurgents held off troops and police for more than 40 hours.
- Their bodies still lay inside the partially destroyed five-storey structure.
In the east, three Afghan civilians were killed by a suicide bomber on a motorcycle targeting a convoy of foreign troops in the Qarghayo district of Laghman province, district governor Saleh Mohammad said. The Taliban claimed responsibility....
Four villagers were found beheaded in eastern Khost province, although the Taliban denied responsibility, local authorities said. Taliban insurgents ambushed and killed four Afghan police in central Ghazni province on Sunday, police said.
Violence across Afghanistan last year reached its worst levels since the Taliban were overthrown in late 2001, with
- record casualties on all sides of the conflict.
The Taliban have managed to carry out a number of high-profile attacks inside Kandahar and in the capital Kabul over the past year despite Afghan and foreign forces beefing up security around both cities."
via Drudge Report