Thursday, March 08, 2007


Taliban Leader Vows to Resist NATO Offensive [Oh please, please, pretty please, do...]

KANDAHAR, Afghanistan (March 8) - A top Taliban commander said Wednesday the group has 4,000 fighters bracing to rebuff NATO 's largest-ever offensive in southern Afghanistan, now in its second day. [...]

NATO, meanwhile, announced the capture of a senior Taliban fighter who had eluded authorities by wearing a woman's burqa. Mullah Mahmood, who is accused of helping Taliban fighters rig suicide bomb attacks, was seized by Afghan soldiers at a checkpoint near Kandahar, the alliance said. [...]

Operation Achilles, comprising some 4,500 NATO and 1,000 Afghan troops, is focused on securing lawless regions of northern Helmand - the world's biggest poppy-growing region.

The offensive follows a mission last fall that wiped out hundreds of militants who fought in formation in neighboring Kandahar province, prompting NATO spokesman Col. Tom Collins to say this week the military would welcome a repeat of those tactics. [...]

Mahmood - the Taliban commander caught wearing the burqa - was trying to leave the Panjwayi area of Kandahar province - site of the large NATO battle last fall where hundreds of Taliban fighters were killed.

"Alert (Afghan) soldiers at this checkpoint spotted the oddity and quickly arrested him," NATO said.

"The capture of this senior Taliban extremist is another indicator that a more normal life is returning to the Zhari and Panjwayi districts and a testament to the great work the (Afghan army) is achieving," said Maj. Gen. Ton van Loon, the southern commander of NATO-led troops.

In eastern Afghanistan, Afghan and U.S.-led coalition forces arrested a suspected al-Qaida bomb expert and five other terrorist suspects Wednesday...


Blogger Harry Eagar said...

Even Afghans who are not Talib make lousy allies and false friends. We would have been better off to have left them to the Russians -- good for us and bad for the Russians.

Boy, are we dumb.

March 08, 2007 9:49 PM  

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