U.S. expects Afghan al Qaida attacks

Sept. 26, 2004 at 4:50 PM

KABUL, Afghanistan, Sept. 26 (UPI) -- Lt. Gen. David Barno, commander of the U.S. forces in Afghanistan, has said al Qaida is encouraging insurgents to disrupt the Oct. 9 presidential elections.

Barno said the military has detected al Qaida in the southeastern Afghan provinces of Khost, Paktia and Paktika, the New York Times reported Sunday.

He said allies of the terrorist group, including Taliban supporters and the former mujahedeen leader Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, have been planning to increase attacks in Afghanistan.

"Terrorist attacks will continue and more than likely increase as the election nears," he said.

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