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    ISAF willing to help provide election security

    KABUL (PAN): The International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) on Monday said the insurgency had decreased by 14 percent in areas under Afghan security forces’ control. However, he gave no breakdown.

    Foreign troops would be willing to assist Afghan security personnel during the presidential vote, scheduled to be held in 2014, a spokesman for the NATO-led force said.

    Günter Katz told a news conference in Kabul that Afghan forces would take security control across the country until mid-2013. He hoped their capacity would further improve before the election.

    He explained Afghan forces would be responsible for maintaining security across Afghanistan during the ballot. "ISAF will help them if its cooperation is needed," the spokesman added.

    Katz dismissed the impression that rebels could once again infiltrate villages after the withdrawal of international troops. "The security situation is improving. The insurgency has fallen by 14 percent in areas that have transitioned to Afghan forces."

    Katz expressed concerns at growing casualties among Afghan forces, linking them to the conduct of most operations by them and transition of 75 percent of the population to their control.

    About a trilateral meeting to be held in Islamabad, the brigadier general said representatives from Afghanistan, Pakistan and ISAF would ponder over ways of improving border security and other issues of common concern.

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