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ZAA NKWETA, PRESENTER: Following a three-day offensive by Afghan and NATO forces, 56 Taliban fighters were killed on Wednesday just outside of Kandahar, in the Arghandab District, according to unconfirmed reports by Afghan officials.

GEN. MOHAMMAD ZAHIR AZIMI, AFGHANISTAN MINISTRY OF DEFENSE SPOKESMAN (SUBTITLED TRANSLATION): Arghandab district has been completely cleared from the enemies.

NKWETA: Not so, says Sami Yousafzai, special correspondent for Newsweek.

SAMI YOUSAFZAI, SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT, NEWSWEEK: How can we say it’s accurate? The militants shift from that area to another area, and they will regroup, reorganize, and come for another attack in another nearby district.

NKWETA: NATO officials have yet to confirm that Arghandab remains Taliban-free. Contrary to expectations, NATO reported only light resistance in villages in the district on Wednesday, although the Afghan army said up to 400 militants poured into the area on Monday.

MARK LATY, NATO CIVILIAN AFFAIRS, AFGHANISTAN: I would say that we’ve had a series of small clashes over the last two days, with the occasional use of air strikes and the occasional use of artillery rather than one big battle.

NKWETA: And, according to Yousafzai, small clashes fall exactly in line with Taliban military strategy.

YOUSAFZAI: Now they are working in different strategies. They are coming more attack inside the different cities. They are trying also to put pressure on the supply lines of the American troops. Also now they decided the largest number of the group. Before, it was 20 people, 30 people. Now the Taliban military council decides the highest number of the group, where they are going for an ambush, must not be more than 5 to 8 people. And they also decided there shouldn’t be more than two commanders in an area. That will be difficult for international troops to manage and focus. I think the situation is getting hard, harsh, and difficult day after day.


Please note that TRNN transcripts are typed from a recording of the program; The Real News Network cannot guarantee their complete accuracy.

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