Half of All Violence Occurs in 17 Districts: Isaf
 
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Fifty percent of the total violence in Afghanistan occurs in only 17 districts out of a total 375 districts in the country, Isaf said Wednesday.

These 17 districts are chiefly located in the eastern and southern parts of Afghanistan, Isaf Deputy Operational Commander Adam Findlay said at a press conference in Kabul.

Findlay acknowledged that violence has been intense in several parts of the country but added that the insurgents have lost the ability to face Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF). He reiterated that Isaf will continue its support to ANSF.

"We are supporting the ANSF, but it is worth noting that with the violence in Afghanistan, 50 percent of that violence is restricted to about 17 districts, and Nooristan is one of those. We acknowledge that's a tough fight and we are supporting the ANSF," Findlay told reporters.

He also added that Isaf is contributing only high-level war fighting capabilities in support of Afghan forces, and that the ANSF is operating independently in most parts of the country.

"Now, what we are finding is that we don't have to have Isaf peers with the [Afghan military units] Tolais and Kandaks necessarily, but where we are helping now is the more sophisticated war fighting functions that ANSF is going to take," he added.

This comes as all foreign combat forces will pull out of the Afghanistan by the end of 2014 and Isaf's advisory and mentoring role will continue after 2014 as Afghan security forces take all security responsibilities.

The lack of a functional air force, heavy weaponry, intelligence and engineering capabilities are the main challenges the Afghan National Army is facing. Some believe that if left unaddressed, these challenges could undermine the ability of the ANSF to protect the country after 2014.

According to Afghanistan's Local Governance Directorate, the country has 364 official districts and 11 unofficial districts pending presidential approval.

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