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US Denies Taliban Takeover in Afghan District

  • VOA News

The US Defense Department says reports that Taliban forces have taken over several villages in southern Afghanistan are false.

The Pentagon says a US patrol in Kandahar province's Arghandab district encountered no Taliban fighters Tuesday. A Pentagon spokesman Geoff Morrell says Taliban forces will be defeated if they try to take Kandahar.


News reports say hundreds of Taliban militants have taken control of eight villages about 15 kilometers from Kandahar City, where Taliban fighters freed about 400 of their comrades from a prison on Friday.

A Taliban spokesman was quoted as saying his forces will attack selected targets in Kandahar City.

The news reports say thousands of people are leaving their homes in southern Afghanistan, as Afghan and NATO troops prepare to confront Taliban fighters gathering in the region.

Witnesses say Taliban militants have planted land mines and blown up bridges in Arghandab district.

NATO planes have been dropping leaflets urging people to stay indoors in case of fighting. Local officials have imposed a curfew.


At a press briefing Tuesday, Pentagon spokesman Geoff Morrell urged Afghan President Hamid Karzai not to send troops into Pakistan to attack militants based there. President Karzai made the threat on Sunday.

Arghandab district lies just north of Kandahar city, a strategic hub long sought by the Taliban.

A US-led invasion pushed the Taliban from power in 2001, but supporters of the extremist Islamist group remain a deadly threat to the tens of thousands of foreign forces that remain in Afghanistan.

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