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27 Aug, 2009 06:23

Violence escalates in Afghanistan as vote count continues

As Afghans await the announcement of the results from last Thursday’s presidential election, violence is escalating, making August the deadliest month of the war in Afghanistan so far for international forces.

Polling officials in Afghanistan say incumbent President Hamid Karzai has extended his lead over the main challenger. The partial results are based on returns from about a fifth of polling stations across the country.

Karzai currently enjoys almost 45 per cent of the vote, while his main rival Abdullah Abdullah has 35 per cent.

With the country in political limbo, there have been a number of attacks on NATO troops and civilians. A massive truck bomb explosion ripped through the central area of Kandahar, Afghanistan’s largest southern city. The blast killed 43 people and left 65 others injured.

This year has been the deadliest for International forces in Afghanistan. And the only way for NATO to avoid more casualties is to change tactics, says RT's military analyst Evgeny Khrushchev.

“The spike in casualties is not due to the proactive aggressive tactics of the US Forces in Afghanistan. The reason is exactly the opposite – US soldiers and marines have been hunted and ambushed at will. The biggest ratio of US casualties is not due to the face-to-face close-quarter combat, but a result of asymmetrical improvised explosive devices,” explains Khrushchev.