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Taliban reject Petraeus's testimony on progress in war

Taliban reject Petraeus's testimony on progress in war

Mar 16, 2011 - 20:57

KABULinfo-icon(PANinfo-icon): The Talibaninfo-icon have rejected as groundless recent remarks by the top NATOinfo-icon commander in Afghanistaninfo-icon about the progress of the war, saying the US general tried to cheat his countrymen.

General David Petraeus, testifying to the US Congress in Washington Tuesday, said the momentum achieved by the Taliban since 2005 had been arrested in much of Afghanistan and reversed in a number of important areas.

But a Taliban statement issued here said foreign troops had not been successful in the war and defeated in different areas.

"The US commander tried to cheat US officials when he faced serious questions about the failure in the battle against the anti-government movement," the statement said.

A recent survey by an influential US newspaper, the Washington Post, revealed that one thirds of American population was against the war in Afghanistan, the statement said.

"The US commander once again wants to gain support and money from US nation in a bid to prolong the war in Afghanistan as he did last year," the statement said.

There had been no such progress in the war as mentioned by Petraeus in his remarks, instead foreign soldiers had abandoned remote areas after suffering casualties in fight with rebels, it said.

But Petraeushas said they had expanded joint ISAFinfo-icon-Afghan operations to clear the Taliban from important, long-held safe havens. ISAF and Afghan troopers, he said, had cleared critical areas in Kandahar and important districts of Helmand province of insurgents.

"The past eight months have seen important, but hard-fought, progress in Afghanistan. Key insurgent safe havens have been taken away from the Taliban, numerous insurgent leaders have been killed or captured, and hundreds of reconcilable mid-level leaders and fighters have been reintegrated into Afghan societyinfo-icon," he said, adding Afghan forces had grown in number and capability and local security solutions instituted meanwhile.



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