Thursday, April 15, 2010

Taliban claim Victory after US leaves 'Valley of Death', Obama says US making progress in Afghanistan

From the AFP:
Taliban militants on Thursday claimed victory after the US military withdrew this week from a rebel-infested area in eastern Afghanistan that became known as the "Valley of Death".

Troops pulled back from Korengal, a rugged mountainous region in Kunar province bordering Pakistan, as part of what NATO's International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) said was its new "repositioning" strategy....

The Taliban, the main insurgent group that controls several districts in southern and eastern parts of the country, were quick to seize on the US withdrawal, after years of fierce fighting in the sparsely populated valley.

"It's a great victory for us," Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahed told AFP by telephone from an undisclosed location.

"The area is very, very important for us. Its mountains provide us a good hideout, it can be used as a training ground and lead our operations across the region from there," he said.

"US troops fled under our constant attacks."...
From Voice of America:
U.S. President Barack Obama says the United States is making progress in Afghanistan, and his plan to withdraw U.S. forces next year is on track.

In an interview with Australian public television broadcast Thursday, Mr. Obama said the U.S. has seen "a blunting of the momentum of the Taliban."...

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