Kandahar violence worrying: Pentagon
WASHINGTON (PAN): The Pentagon on Tuesday acknowledged the recent spike in violence in Kandahar had made the situation tough in the southern province, but hoped US and Afghan forces would succeed in coping with the challenge.
“Clearly, a tough day in Kandahar or last couple of days,” Pentagon spokesman Navy Capt John Kirby told reporters at a news conference, which was dominated by recent attacks in the province, the Taliban's birth-place.
Kirby said the latest attack in Kandahar appeared to be what they considered a green-on-blue assault, an insider attack. “Right now the number that we are dealing with is three, three attackers that were dressed in Afghan national security force uniforms.
"I don't know any more detail than that, whether it was police uniforms or army uniforms, but ANSF (Afghan National Security Forces) uniforms. And those three are still at large,” he added.
“Then we had two others in the intervening hours between last night and now. In one of them, we do believe that it was at least potentially facilitated by an individual dressed in Afghan National Police uniform. But again, details are very sketchy right now. ISAF is certainly looking into this.”
Kirby continued it was not uncommon that in the warm months of the year, violence would increase in Afghanistan and partly because coalition forces were being more aggressive.
Responding to a question, the Pentagon official said Afghan transition was on track. “We are on track, and we will complete the withdrawal of the rest of the surge forces by the end of September.”
After that General John Allen Commander of the US and NATO forces would do an analysis of what the campaign looked like at the end of 2012 and the requirements for 2013, he explained.
“He simply can't do that spadework right now while we are in the middle of the summer and he still has those 23,000 at his disposal.
“And he owes the president an analysis and some thoughts about what force levels need to look like going into next year and we are not at the stage right now where he can make that determination,” Kirby concluded.
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