A UN report says up to 12,000 Afghan Taliban fighters have been killed, wounded, or captured this year but warns the insurgency is likely to continue as long as it has illicit sources of income.
The special report to the UN Security Council released on November 18 also claims Taliban casualties have been three times as high this year as during the same period in 2012.
The report credits government forces with performing well in 2013, including recapturing territory lost to Taliban forces earlier, but also notes casualties among Afghan government forces have increased during the past year.
The UN report points out the Taliban are able to fund their insurgency through sales from illegal opium production that in 2012 brought the group some $155 million.
Based on reporting by The Guardian and AFP