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Al Qaeda in search for hideout in east

Al Qaeda in search for hideout in east

Apr 09, 2011 - 20:52

KABULinfo-icon (PANinfo-icon): The top NATOinfo-icon and US forces commander in Afghanistaninfo-icon on Saturday said that the Al Qaeda was not making a comeback inside the country.

Speaking with reporters in Kabul after a farewell ceremony for NATO's top civilian representative, Mark Sedwill, Gen. David Petraeus said there was no question that al-Qaeda had a presence in Afghanistan.

But he said some Al Qaeda fighters had been searching for hideouts in rugged areas of eastern Afghanistan,

"There has been certainly some exploration for potential safe havens or sanctuaries in very mountainous areas of Nuristan and parts of Kunar provinces. Our intention, with our Afghan partners, is to maintain pressure on those who are seeking to establish safe havens."

Petraeus said the recent deaths of seven UN workers in Mazar-i-Sharif would not affect plans for Afghan security forces to start taking the lead for security in the provincial capital this summer. Petraeus also confirmed that he's in discussions that will determine his next job, but doesn't know what it will be.

In his farewell speech to NATO and Afghan dignitaries, Sedwill said that when he arrived in Afghanistan more than two years ago, insurgents had the momentum.

He said that since then, the coalition had regained the initiative but warned that the fight was not over.


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