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Some mujahedeen working with NATO forces

SHARANA, Afghanistan, Oct. 10 (UPI) -- Some former mujahedeen guerrillas who battled the Russians are aiding the U.S.-led effort against the Taliban in Afghanistan, authorities said.

The former mujahedeen militants know the Taliban's tactics and are valuable in training Afghan police to take a greater role in stabilizing the country, said Lt. Gen. David Rodriguez, a top U.S. commander in Afghanistan.

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"The police are the first line of defense," Rodriguez told The Wall Street Journal in a story published Saturday.

The mujahedeen fighters tried to avoid hurting civilians when they fought the Russians in the 1980s, while the Taliban have burned schools and killed Afghan road crews, said police Capt. Suleimanjan, who like many Afghans uses just one name.

The Taliban "use the name of Islam, but it's fake," Suleimanjan said.

Working with former mujahedeen fighters carries risks because many of them are close to war lords who favor the Taliban, said Capt. Mark Evans, who until recently helped train Afghan police in Sharana.

"It's like the police in the (United) States making a deal with the mob," Evans said.

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