Development News from Afghanistan

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Afghan army far from prepared: German FM

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BERLIN, July 5, 2007 (AFP) – The international community has failed to deliver on its promise to rehabilitate the Afghan army which is still far from able to secure the country, Germany’s foreign minister said Thursday.

Frank-Walter Steinmeier told foreign reporters that a commitment made during an international conference in London last year to equip and train 85,000 Afghan soldiers remained unfulfilled.

“Today, we are at a training level of 30,000 men, meaning more than 50,000 short of the objective,” he said.

He cited progress, however, in police training. The arrival of 160 European police trainers last month has greatly increased the program’s capacity, he said.

NATO’s International Security Assistance Force and a US-led coalition have sought to bring calm to the country.

“Our aim is to put Afghanistan back into the hands of the Afghan people,” he said.

The Taliban extremist movement was in government from 1996 to 2001 before being toppled in a US-led invasion for sheltering the Al-Qaeda network, which is now supporting their insurgency against the Western-backed government.

On Thursday, a suicide attacker blew himself up at a police gathering in southern Afghanistan, killing nine people including a boy, while a NATO force soldier died in a separate blast.

The two attacks occurred as a German national and his driver abducted a week ago in the southwest of the country were released. The Taliban denied being responsible for their capture.

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Written by afghandevnews

July 7, 2007 at 1:06 pm

Posted in Security

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