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Insurgents 'breathing terror' in Kandahar

Insurgents 'breathing terror' in Kandahar
Afghan Border Policemen patrol a hill in the Wam Valley of the Kandahar province of Afghanistan on December 22, 2009, to secure the Afghan border from infiltration and illegal entry of persons and contraband. UPI/Efren Lopez/U.S. Air Force | License Photo

KANDAHAR, Afghanistan, May 12 (UPI) -- An atmosphere of terror is descending on the southern Afghan province of Kandahar ahead of a major military effort to take on insurgents, officials said.

U.S. and international forces are preparing to take on Taliban and other insurgents in their strongholds in Kandahar following a similar effort in neighboring Helmand.

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Ahmad Wali Karzai, Kandahar provincial council leader and brother of the Afghan president, told the U.N.'s humanitarian news agency IRIN that Kandahar was descending into chaos.

"People are breathing terror here," he said.

Insurgents in Afghanistan announced during the weekend that they would mark Afghan government officials and their foreign backers for assassination.

State and pro-government leader have been marked for death in recent months, with several high-profile figures assassinated by insurgents. Tribal elders in the southern provinces said the atmosphere in Afghanistan is similar to the chaos that followed the retreat of Soviet forces in 1979.

Meanwhile, U.N. agencies said they have evidence that suggests teenage insurgents are descending on Kandahar to take on U.S. and international forces.

Karzai added that more U.N. support was needed to help the Kandahar government respond to humanitarian needs.

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