Wednesday, December 19, 2007

taliban call

Taliban leader Mullah Omar on Tuesday called on foreign forces to withdraw from Afghanistan and taunted NATO about its capture of the southern town of Musa Qala, saying celebrating such a small victory only showed its weakness.

This year has seen a steady escalation of violence in Afghanistan with attacks up around 25 percent since 2006, but neither the hardline Taliban nor Afghan government and international forces have gained any significant advantage.

"The aggression by the Americans and their allies against Afghanistan and Iraq brought with it economic and financial losses that affected not just occupied states, but the aggressors are also suffering," Omar said in a message to mark the Eid al-Adha Muslim holiday beginning in Afghanistan on Wednesday.

"Therefore, international institutions and all countries, especially Muslim states, should find ways for the evacuation of aggressor forces, and along with occupied nations help form a permanent and independent government," the Pakistan-based Afghanistan International Press (AIP) quoted a statement as saying.

The one-eyed reclusive leader said no occupying power had ever conquered Afghanistan and the Taliban was getting stronger each day.

The Taliban, he said, "have troubled them so much that they are propagating and celebrating a partial occupation of the small district of Musa Qala, the way they did six years ago over occupation of Afghanistan."

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