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    Gen. Petraeus visits Helmand

    LASHKARGAH (PAN): NATOs commander in Afghanistan, Gen. David Petraeus, made his first visit to the southern province of Helmand on Tuesday since taking charge of all allied forces in the country.

    Petraeus spoke with officials in Helmand about security, development and the upcoming parliamentary elections in September, Daud Ahmadi, the governors spokesman said.

    Petraeus was accompanied by Chief of Army Staff Gen. Sher Muhammad Karimi, and the two travelled to Musa Qala district, where security has become increasingly worse since coalition forces in February launched a massive operation to rid the district of the Taliban.

    Helmand governor, Gulab Mangal, shared some of the security problems in the province with the two officials in order to find solution, Ahmadi said.

    As well as visiting US and Afghan soldiers, Karimi and Petraeus met with tribal elders, Ahmadi said.

    Petraeus replaced Gen. Stanley McChrystal as the chief commander of NATO and US forces in Afghanistan.

    myn /cas