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    Kandahar security on the mend, claims governor

    KANDAHAR CITY (PAN): Security incidents have declined by 60 percent, compared to 2011, in southern Kandahar province, where Afghan armed forces have extended their writ to remote areas, the governor said on Wednesday. However, he gave no specific figures.

    Governor Toryalai Weesa claimed local security personnel were gradually controlling the situation. “According to a recent survey, seurity in Kandahar is on the mend. Coordination among security personnel and people’s cooperation have played an important role in foiling militant plots.”

    Happy with the decline in casualties, the governor called for concerted efforts to keep the situation under control over the longer haul. He said residents were ready for greater cooperation with security forces in bringing stability to the region -- a hotbed of the Taliban insurgency.

    NATO’s upcoming summit in Chicago would be vital to Afghanistan’s future, the governor believed, asking security organs to pay more attention to preventing possible insurgent attacks.

    Representatives of 60 countries as well as international organisations, including the United Nations, World Bank and the European Union, are expected to participate in the event, which will make significant decisions about Afghanistan.

    Earlier in the month, Interior Minister Gen. Bismillah Mohammadi warned security threats would increase in the country ahead of the NATO conference.

    Kandahar spy chief, Col. Essa Mohammad, said 28 militants -- three of them top commanders -- were held with bombs in operations in the province during the current week.