Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Taliban claim control of over 80pc of Afghanistan

 

By Mushtaq Yusufzai

PESHAWAR: Rejecting as baseless the US allegations about the presence of Afghan Taliban in the tribal areas, a militant commander said they did not need to flee to the neighbouring country when the Taliban controlled major parts of Afghanistan.

Mulla Sangeen, a key commander of the Afghan Taliban, claimed there was no truth in the US charges, as the Taliban were holding 80 per cent of the territory in Afghanistan.

In his video message, which the Taliban commander claimed was recorded in one of his camps in the Paktika province, he said the Haqqani network was active and based in Afghanistan. Sangeen is also affiliated with the network.

The network, led by Sirajuddin Haqqani, has nominated Sangeen as the shadow governor of Paktika. He said by pressing the government to launch a military operation in North Waziristan, the US was, in fact, trying to weaken the country. He said the US was making efforts to pit Pakistan's armed forces and people against each other. Sangeen said the Taliban had become a strong force and at the moment, they were ruling most of the country with the help of the Afghan people.

"The US knows that we are here in Afghanistan and are fighting against them. The US always levels such allegations whenever it suffers losses at our hands," he stressed.
 
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