US, NATO forces able to halt Taliban gains around Kabul: Petraeus

Last Updated: Wed, Mar 09, 2011 07:00 hrs

The US commander in Afghanistan, General David H. Petraeus, has said that, US and NATO forces have been able to halt Taliban gains around Kabul, and in the north and west of the country.

Offering a preview of what he is likely to say when he testifies before the Congress, Petraeus made his case for an improving overall picture in Afghanistan in an interview, The New York Times reports.

It will be his first testimony since the entrance of additional American and Afghan troops egan to change the trend of fighting in southern Afghanistan in 2010.

The tempo of operations in Afghanistan have gained momentum under Petraeus, who states that 1600 missions have been mounted by American Special Operations forces and coalition commandos, in the 90 days before March 4, and the troops have captured and killed around 3000 insurgents.

Petraeus said: "The momentum of the Taliban has been halted in much of the country and reversed in some important areas."

"The Taliban have never been under the pressure that they were put under over the course of the last 8 to 10 months," he added.

He said, security in and around Kabul has significantly improved, thanks to the specialized commando units of the Afghan Army, the police and the intelligence service, which operate in the greater Kabul area.etraeus said that in the coming months it is expected that the Taliban will to try to take back their lost territory but coalition forces would mount their own spring offensive to curb these efforts by the Taliban.

He said: "You cannot eliminate all the sensationalist attacks, that is one of the objectives for our spring offensive, to solidify those gains and push them back further."

According to information from the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan, the troops have found more than 120 explosives and weapons caches a month recently compared with 40 a month a year ago, said Patraeus. (ANI)

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