Taliban say French defence minister target of attack on Afghan ministry

KABUL, Afghanistan - German Army Brig. Gen. Jo...

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RAHIM FAIEZ  Published Monday, Apr. 18, 2011 6:26AM EDT

KabulAn apparent Taliban infiltrator wearing an Afghan army uniform opened fire Monday inside the Defence Ministry, killing at least two soldiers before he was gunned down in the third deadly breach of security in Afghanistan in less than a week.

The Taliban claimed responsibility, saying insurgents planned the attack to coincide with a visit of the French defence minister who they believed was inside the compound. French officials said the minister, Gerard Longuet, was not inside the ministry during the attack. Continue reading

Al Qaeda is becoming less of a presence in Afghanistan, says allied commander Petraeus

Sunday, Apr 10 2011

By Daily Mail Reporter

Last updated at 12:48 AM on 10th April 2011

No threat: U.S. General David Petraeus said the coalition would be keeping pressure on al Qaeda fighters

The commander of U.S and Nato forces in Afghanistan does not believe al Qaeda fighters are coming back in to Afghanistan to engage coalition forces.

U.S. Army General David Petraeus said there was still an al Qaeda presence in the war-torn country, but it was greatly diminished.

He told reporters at the Coalition’s HQ in Kabul: ‘There is no question that al Qaeda has had a presence in Afghanistan and continues to have a presence – generally assessed at less than 100 or so.

‘There certainly has been some exploration for potential safe havens or sanctuaries in very mountainous areas of Nuristan and parts of Kunar provinces.

‘Our intention, with our Afghan partners, is to maintain pressure on those who are seeking to establish safe havens.’

The general said the recent deaths of seven U.N. workers in Mazar-e-Sharif, following the burning of a Muslim holy book last month in Florida, would not affect plans for Afghan security forces to take over security in the provincial capital this July. Continue reading