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'Most of the stupid Taliban are dead'

KABUL, Afghanistan, Nov. 5 (UPI) -- The Taliban appears to be holding its own against the U.S. surge in Afghanistan, counterterrorism sources told the New York Daily News.

Officials said morale in the Taliban ranks is high and years of fighting have hardened the militants.

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"Most of the stupid Taliban are dead," a source described as a senior counterterrorism official in Washington, told the newspaper. "Even in the south, the adversaries are becoming more tactically capable."

Publicly, Gen. David Petraeus, who commands the NATO International Security Assistance Force, and his aides describe the Taliban as battle weary. Army Maj. Sunset Belinsky said one leader in Kandahar said he was "tired of sleeping in caves" while putting out feelers for an amnesty offer.

Retired Army Gen. Jack Keane has been working with Petraeus on Afghanistan.

"We've listened to their conversations every day and we're picking up evidence of low morale," Keane said in an interview last month on PBS.

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