Violence in Afghanistan has risen sharply in the last four months, according to a U.N. Security Council report that calls the findings “alarming.” Roadside bombs are up 94 percent from a year ago. The country suffers three suicide bombings a week, half of them in the south, the Taliban’s turf. Assassinations have risen 45 percent. And the capabilities of terroristnetworks tied to al Qaeda have improved, leading to a doubling of sophisticated suicide attacks. The report comes amid the Operation Moshtarak, which began in February and is the biggest NATO offensive there since 2001, and the report says the violence is “attributable to increase in military operations” this year. On the other hand, more than 2,500 political candidates (400 of them women) have been registered for elections this fall, and Afghan police and Army numbers are ahead of set targets.