Taliban to extend its influence in new Afghanistan areas: US

June 28th, 2008 - 5:15 pm ICT by ANI  

Washington , June 28 (ANI): The Pentagon has warned that Taliban would try to extend its influence in new areas of Afghanistan while it continues fight in its southern and eastern strongholds.

In its first report to the Congress on security in Afghanistan on Friday, the Pentagon said that the Taliban would challenge the control of the Afghan Government in rural areas, especially in the south and the east and it would probably attempt to increase its presence in the west and the north.

The hardline Islamic militia, which was defeated in Afghanistan by a US-led coalition in 2001, has regrouped since then and “coalesced into a resilient insurgency, ” the report said.

The Taliban has increased its power and is responsible for an upswing in violence in the year 2007 that saw some 6,500 people killed in suicide attacks, roadside bombings and other violence, the News reported.

Taliban strongholds of Southern Afghanistan and to the east, bordering Pakistan have seen numerous incidents of insurgency.

A US-led coalition had ousted the Taliban regime in Afghanistan in the aftermath of the September 11, 2001 attacks, over its support for the Al-Qaeda network.

The report, which accounts for events up to April, acknowledged that the international forces had also inflicted damage on the Afghan insurgents, including leadership losses and the loss of some of their key safe-havens in Afghanistan .

However, despite these setbacks, the Taliban was likely to maintain or even increase the scope and pace of its terrorist attacks and bombings this year, the report stated.

The violence in the region has shown a sharp surge in the past two years despite the presence of some 70,000 multinational troops in Afghanistan , including soldiers under US command and others under NATO’s authority. (ANI)

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