Taliban will try to avenge Osama's killing: NATO
KABUL(PAN): The Taliban insurgents were likely to intensify their attacks against Afghan government and its Western allies to avenge the killing of Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, a NATO official said on Monday.
The world's most wanted individual, the multimillionaire Saudi citizen, Osama, was killed last week during an operation by American forces in the Abbottabad town of Pakistan's northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.
"Al Qaeda and Taliban will try to take revenge by intensifying their attacks, but the Afghan and NATO-led international troops will not let them to succeed in their designs," Gen. Christine Whitecross, the ISAF deputy chief of communication, told participants of a conference in Kabul.
"The death of Osama does not mean that the NATO mission in Afghanistan has been completed," she said, adding the alliance would remain committed to its promises with Afghanistan. "Our mission is in Afghanistan and we can't conduct operations beyond borders of Afghanistan."
President Hamid Karzai had repeatedly said that sanctuaries of Al Qaeda and Taliban militants were situated across the Afghan borders.
On May 2, Karzai said: "We have said time and again that Al Qaeda sanctuaries do not exist in Afghanistan; their hideouts are located elsewhere. And the killing of Osama bin Laden has proved that our claim was right."
NATO's senior civilian representative for Afghanistan, Christopher Chambers, on the occasion said the death of Osama was a great success for all their allies and for the Afghan government.
"Our strategy will remain the same. NATO and its allies will continue its mission until they are assured that Afghanistan is no more a safe haven for fundamentalists," he said. He said having good relations with Pakistan were essential for success in the war on terrorism and brining peace and stability to the region.
On recent organised attacks in Kandahar city, Chambers said the attacks did not mean that Taliban had strengthened. All the attackers had been killed and captured by Afghan forces who put up a stiff residence, he added.
The US embassy in Kabul on Monday said the movements of its staff in parts of Afghanistan's volatile south were being restricted, warning of more attacks after a two-day siege came to a bloody end and insurgents killed at least 11 people in other attacks.
The embassy issued a security bulletin in which it said it had received specific threats of attacks in three areas in Helmand province. It gave no details about the nature of the threats.
Afghan troops, aided by NATO-led forces, on Monday mopped up the remnants of a major assault launched by the Taliban in Kandahar city, where the governor's compound and other key facilities were attacked by suicide bombers and Taliban fighters on Saturday.
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