Bush sees progress in Afghanistan despite setback

April 30th, 2008 - 4:13 pm ICT by admin  

Washington, April 30 (DPA) US President George W. Bush said there has been progress in defeating the Taliban in Afghanistan despite rising trend in violence highlighted by the weekend assassination attempt against Afghan President Hamid Karzai. “So what I’m going to tell you now is we’re making progress in Afghanistan, but there’s tough fighting. I’m under no illusions that this isn’t tough,” Bush said at a White House press conference Tuesday.

Bush again stressed the need to go after extremists and said he was pleased with the country’s advances in infrastructure, the Afghan Army’s increased role in the fight.

On Sunday, Karzai survived an attempt on his life that killed three people and wounded more than a dozen others during a ceremony to commemorate the country’s victory over Soviet 1979-1989 occupation.

Karzai has survived at least three assassination attempts in the past since the US-led coalition ousted the Taliban regime in 2001.

More than six years after the fall of the Taliban - and despite the presence of some 50,000 international troops and more than 140,000 Afghan forces - Taliban militants were able to conduct the organised attack in the centre of the Afghan capital.

Taliban insurgents, who are mostly entrenched in southern and eastern Afghanistan, have waged a bloody war to topple Karzai’s government and to expel the international forces from the country.

Bush later Tuesday met with the special UN envoy for Afghanistan, Norwegian diplomat Kai Eide, ahead of a June donor’s conference for Afghanistan.

Eide told a gathering on Monday that he has seen improvement in Afghanistan but cautioned that the rebuilding effort remains under-resourced and and may not be sustainable.

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