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One quarter of Afghanistan being contested: US general

Saturday, Sep 24, 2016,11:45 IST By metrovaartha A A A

Washington | The Afghan government controls over 60-70 percent of the country, while the Taliban has hold over the 10 per cent and about one quarter of the war-torn country is now being contested between the two, an American general has said.

“The Taliban clearly controls 10 per cent and the government controls roughly 65 to 70 percent. So, these are rough percentages. We view 20 to 25 per cent of the country is contested, meaning the government and the Taliban are fighting for control of that,” General Nicholson, Commander of US and NATO troops in Afghanistan told reporters yesterday.

According to Nicholson, of the 98 US or UN designated terrorists organizations around the globe, 20 of them are in the Afghan-Pak region.

“This is the highest concentration of the numbers of different groups in any area in the world,” he said.

“So while the numbers may be higher in some of these groups elsewhere, the concentration of groups in this region is important. So our presence there is critical to keeping pressure on these networks so they cannot realize their international ambitions,” the general said.

Nicholson said he is most impressed with about the Afghans is this desire to fight for their country.

“They view it as a matter of personal honor that they are the ones defending their country, not us. And they deeply appreciate everything we’re doing with them. They know they have things to work on. But they’re very committed to winning this war on their own,” he said.