NATO denounces Taliban takeover claim

June 20, 2007 at 4:01 PM
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KABUL, Afghanistan, June 20 (UPI) -- NATO officials in Afghanistan denied recent Taliban extremists' assertions that they had taken over district centers in southern Afghanistan.

"The enemy may be controlling the headlines but they are not controlling strategically significant areas," said U.S. Army Maj. John Thomas, a spokesman for NATO's International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan. "We have seen hollow claims of Taliban controlling district centers but when Afghan and ISAF forces move into those areas, the enemy turn and run.

"The enemy, who are unable to win on the battlefield, seem to be trying to influence public perception by trying to pull off symbolic stunts that have no military value," Thomas added.

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