Taliban control of Afghanistan on the rise, USA data reveals

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The newly released figures have been subject to some controversy, however.

The new data was released by U.S. Forces in Afghanistan to CNN following inquiries on SIGAR's complaint.

Late previous year, a Pentagon report said the Afghan government has control or influence over 60 percent of the population, while insurgents had control or influence over approximately 10 percent of the population, with the remainder contested.

President Donald Trump has announced a new Afghanistan strategy aimed at breaking a battlefield stalemate by accelerating Afghan-led operations against the Taliban and other insurgent groups in the country.

In November 2015, the Afghan government controlled about 72 percent of the country, while the insurgents influenced just 7 percent.

Mr. Trump on Monday railed against "atrocities" in Afghanistan, ruling out talks with the Taliban after earlier indicating negotiations could be a way out of America's longest war.

More than 100 people were killed last Saturday when an improvised ambulance loaded with explosives was detonated by a Taliban militant in the capital Kabul during the afternoon rush hour.

The special inspector general for Afghanistan reconstruction, or SIGAR, said in a letter Tuesday the Department of Defense is at fault.

The war effort has sometimes faded from USA public attention, even though the US has invested about $120 billion in reconstructing Afghanistan since 2002.

But SIGAR insists it was originally told the information could not be made public.

"It's unfortunate that they only did so after the press started to ask questions. Innocent people are being killed left and right, we will finish what we have to finish", said Trump. They cited an Afghan government request to do so.

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