Friday, April 25, 2003

Afghanistan update: Afghan security deteriorates as Taliban regroup (via DY)
'After a winter punctuated by scattered attacks, March and April saw the closest to a co-ordinated offensive the anti-Kabul opposition has yet achieved. This left no doubt that the predominantly Pashtun forces aligned against the western-backed government of President Hamid Karzai had used the winter to regroup, train and achieve a far greater degree of organisational cohesion than was evident in 2002. An ad hoc alliance comprising Taliban remnants, the Hizb-i-Islami Afghanistan (HIA) faction of former mujahideen leader Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, and groups of Al-Qaeda stragglers now appears increasingly to be co-ordinating its command structures and support and logistics networks. Politically, the opposition has displayed a new confidence and political assertiveness in recent months with various leaders publicly enunciating their goal of expelling western forces.'

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