The continuous conflict in Afghanistan has displaced more than 350,000 people throughout the war-torn country since January 1, according to data by the United Nations Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).
Overall, 354,664 people were displaced in 31 of the total of 34 provinces, OCHA reported. About 310,000 people were forced from their homes in the same period last year.
Most people who fled were in the northeast region with more than 160,000 people displaced, followed by the east with 68,000, the north with 60,000, and west with 29,900.
The displacements occurred as Afghan forces continue to battle the Taliban and the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL or ISIS) group. Fighting surged this year during ongoing talks between the US and the Taliban about a political solution for the conflict.
According to analysts, both sides tried to gain leverage during negotiations through military gains. The talks were called off by US President Donald Trump in early September after an American soldier was killed in a Taliban attack.
However, there are signs the talks might resume. US special envoy Zalmay Khalilzad arrived in the Afghan capital on Saturday and met Afghan officials, including President Ashraf Ghani and Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah.
The visit was Khalilzad’s first to Afghanistan since the talks with the Taliban were cancelled.
‘Astonishing’: Taliban respond to Trump’s peace talks withdrawal | Talk to Al Jazeera