Efforts to neutralise Afghan Taliban showing positive results, says NATO commanders

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New York, June 29 (ANI): While the US' Afghan strategy appears to be in complete disarray, particularly after the sacking of General Stanley McChrystal, American officials have stressed that the decision to send in more troops in the country has started to bear results.

US and NATO officials claim that during the last four months, scores of Taliban leaders have been taken out in secret missions aimed at pressurising the terror group to accept the Afghan government's reconciliation offer.

NATO spokesman Colonel Josef Blotz said that the additional troops have helped in confronting the insurgents where they were not attacked until now.

"This is tough, but we are in the fight," The New York Times quoted Colonel Blotz, as saying.

He also stressed that if the allied forces are given more time, 'progress' would certainly be made in the war, which is nearing its tenth anniversary.

Officials said that the mission against the insurgent leaders is especially focussed in South Afghanistan, which has served as the 'spiritual' base for the extremists.

Allied forces' commanders claim that nearly 130 Afghan Taliban commanders have killed or captured since the troops turned their attention from the fight around Marja to a much more complex campaign around Kandahar.

These missions, which are aimed at demonstrating to the middle and higher-ranking militant leaders that reconciliation would be a 'better' and 'wiser' option, have now started to show some effect, officials said.

"There has been some reactions to our operations, and we have seen some local people start talking about these things," Lieutenant General David Rodriguez, the second top American commander in Afghanistan, said.

However, despite all these claims the NATO forces continue to suffer heavy losses in the war with over 95 deaths reported in the month June itself, making it the deadliest in the war so far. (ANI)

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