AL says NATO forces were on patrol in eastern Afghanistan when Taliban forces attacked recently: there were rocket propelled grenades and gunfire. This is a market area of one province close to Kabul and as people scattered a suicide bomber on foot detonated his bomb. (Also today US Marines pushed into a stronghold of Taliban extremists, in the first major action in a month). They moved down from their base with a huge amount of resources. They moved into the middle of Helmum province which British forces have held for some time now, but it's been a front line with troops trading fire with the Taliban almost daily. It appears in this operation a large number of US Marines have moved into this area and have backed up British forces and pushed into Taliban controlled areas. This has been a major route for Taliban forces coming up through Pakistan. (President Karzai of Afghanistan has said one of the mistakes of the last six years has been the handling of the Taliban, so what does he want the US to be doing?) Good question, I think in that interview it came across as a confused picture. Some of the things he said was kind of strange. President Karzai is looking towards an election next year and he doesn't want to be seen as a puppet of the international community so this may be aimed at a different audience. Clearly one major part of winning this fight is convincing Taliban commanders to switch sides and that's happened in some incidents. But Karzai has been sending confusing messages.
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