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In Afghanistan, fears that a NATO withdrawal will lead to another civil war

MEHTAR LAM, Afghanistan — NATO states meeting in Chicago today are expected to reaffirm the departure of foreign combat troops from Afghanistan by the end of 2014, while simultaneously pledging their commitment to the country's stability. But in the months prior to the summit, any stability that might have existed in Afghanistan has been shaken by an increase in violence that appears pegged to the looming withdrawal.

A bad year for Afghanistan gets worse

The latest attack on Kabul punctuates a bad year for the Afghanistan capital.
Kabul attack shiite sunni 2011 12 6Enlarge
Afghan policemen stand guard after an explosion in Kabul on Dec. 6, 2011. (Daud Yardost/AFP/Getty Images)

In one of the worst attacks in Afghanistan's modern history, and by far the worst attack in Kabul this year, 58 people were killed when a bomb struck the capital's historic old city at about 11:30 a.m., just as hundreds of Shiites were making their way to their most revered site in Kabul — the Abdul Fazl Ziyarat.

The attack punctuated an already dismal year for security in the Afghan capital, which has been deemed secure by the Pentagon and is one of seven areas in Afghanistan that have been fully transitioned to Afghan security forces. More than a dozen major attacks have occurred in Kabul since January, casting doubt on the US narrative that security is improving in Afghanistan.

Here's a look at the most serious attacks that have struck the capital so far this year.

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