Editor's Note: This article originally appeared on Radio Free Europe/Radio Free Liberty.

The Taliban was the world's "deadliest terrorist group" last year, according to a new survey, amid a rise in terrorist activity in Afghanistan and the winding down of conflicts in Syria and Iraq.

The 2019 Global Terrorism Index, published on November 20 by the Sydney-based Institute for Economics and Peace, shows that the number of deaths attributed to the Taliban rose by nearly 71 percent in 2018 to 6,103, and accounted for 38 percent of all terror-related deaths globally.

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Editor's Note: This article originally appeared on Radio Free Europe/Radio Free Liberty.

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg has called on the security alliance's allies to maintain and strengthen their "unity," saying the organization is "the only guarantor of European and transatlantic security."

Stoltenberg told reporters on November 19 that NATO "has only grown stronger over the last 70 years" despite "differences" among the allies on issues such as trade, climate, the Iran nuclear deal, and the situation in northeastern Syria.

He was speaking at the alliance's headquarters in Brussels on the eve of a NATO foreign ministers meeting aimed at finalizing preparations for next month's summit in London.

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Editor's Note: This article originally appeared on Radio Free Europe/Radio Free Liberty.

KABUL -- The Afghan government has released three key Taliban prisoners, including Anas Haqqani, the younger brother of Sirajjuddin Haqqani, the leader of the Haqqani network, in exchange for two professors of the American University of Afgahnistan in Kabul, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani has announced.

The prisoners were released on November 12 from Bagram prison, Ghani said in a live press conference the same day.

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Editor's Note: This article originally appeared on Radio Free Europe/Radio Free Liberty.

The New York Times reports that U.S. officials believe Russia intentionally delayed a medical flight to evacuate an ill U.S. military attache earlier this year.

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Editor's Note: This article originally appeared on Radio Free Europe/Radio Free Liberty

Russian President Vladimir Putin says he and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan have made "momentous" decisions regarding Ankara's military offensive in northeast Syria, with both sides saying they had agreed to conduct joint military patrols in the tense region.

Russian and Turkish officials said a five-day U.S.-brokered truce had been extended for 150 hours, starting on midday on October 23, and that Kurdish militias would be required to clear out of a 30-kilometer buffer zone along the Turkish border.

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Editor's Note: This article originally appeared on Radio Free Europe/Radio Free Liberty.

The United Nations said that an "unprecedented" number of civilians were killed or wounded in Afghanistan from July to September, calling the violence "totally unacceptable."

The UN said in a report on October 17 that the 1,174 deaths and 3,139 injured amount to a 42 percent increase over the same time period last year.

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