Afghan gov`t to send more police to Kandahar
Last Updated: Tuesday, March 16, 2010, 18:53
Kabul: Afghanistan's government will provide more than 1,000 police reinforcements to the southern province of Kandahar after Taliban attacks killed dozens of people there ahead of a coming offensive on the insurgent stronghold, an official said on Tuesday.

The Ministry of Interior agreed with a provincial request for more security, Kandahar Governer Tooryalai Wesa said.

Wesa asked for more police after multiple bombs over the weekend killed at least 35 people in Kandahar city. The Taliban called the attacks a "warning" that they are ready for the war's next phase.

Afghan and NATO troops are planning to move into Kandahar, the Taliban's spiritual birthplace, later this year after securing another stronghold in neighboring Helmand province. The southern push is part of a new counterinsurgency strategy and follows President Barack Obama's decision to send 30,000 new American troops to Afghanistan to reverse insurgent gains.

Some of the 1,100 new Afghan police in Kandahar will come from the capital, Kabul, and some will be recruited and trained locally, Wesa said. It will take a few months to put the new forces in place.

Hanif Atmar, the minister of interior, pledged to send more security forces when he visited Kandahar on Monday to attend funerals of the bombing victims. Atmar put the number of new police at 1,200 in Kandahar city and the surrounding province.

Bureau Report

First Published: Tuesday, March 16, 2010, 18:53

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