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Afghans fear Taliban return as NATO pulls back

Washington , Fri, 22 Jul 2011 ANI

Washington, July 22 (ANI): Afghans are worried about Taliban resurgence in various provinces, as NATO troops begin to pull out of the country.


As the foreign presence recedes, many fear the return of the Taliban in Afghanistan's eastern Nuristan Province and Kunar Province.


According to the Christian Science Monitor, the responsibility of security for seven areas throughout the country will have transitioned to Afghan security forces.


Afghans worry about whether government forces can maintain stability as NATO draws down.


US forces have withdrawn from a number of bases since 2009, but now residents say these areas are effectively under Taliban control, the paper said.


Last year, US forces closed two bases in Kunar Province and handed one over to Afghan security forces. The Taliban have used this to their advantage, calling the departure proof that NATO forces have lost.


"It's made it easy for the Taliban to take over any district," the paper quoted Haji Sakhi Mashnai, a member of parliament from Kunar, as saying.


"If they lose in the east, it doesn't make a difference how proud NATO is of its achievements in the south," he added.


Many locals agree that the dearth of government or NATO forces in large parts of both Kunar and Nuristan has created an opening for Taliban forces to easily enter the country and establish havens.


From there, locals say they can easily move throughout the districts or into parts of Kunar without an established military presence.


While these reports are a point of concern for NATO officials, they don't see them as a serious problem for the overall strategy, the report said.


Given the sheer size and mountainous terrain that US forces in Kunar must cover, it would be unrealistic for them to attempt to control the entire area. (ANI)


Read More: Kunar | Mon

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