NATO warns of more violence in 2011 in Afghanistan

The US-led NATO alliance in Afghanistan warned today that foreign soldiers will face further violence in 2011, capping what has been the deadliest year of the war on record.

Last Updated: Dec 14, 2010, 00:18 AM IST

Kabul: The US-led NATO alliance in
Afghanistan warned today that foreign soldiers will face
further violence in 2011, capping what has been the deadliest
year of the war on record.

"We`re going to face more violence in 2011. It`s not
yet over. There will be still fighting, the work has not been
done yet," said Brigadier General Josef Blotz, spokesman for
NATO`s International Security Assistance Force (ISAF).

"So we need to keep the pressure on the Taliban. We
need to solidify the gains we have made over the last couple
of months, and this will also lead to more confrontation," he
said.

US President Barack Obama last December ordered an
extra 30,000 American troops into Afghanistan, but the surge
has failed to stem the nine-year Taliban insurgency with
violence at an all time high.

At least 692 foreign soldiers have been killed in the
Afghan war so far this year, by far the deadliest toll in the
conflict, according to an AFP tally based on that tracked by
the independent casualties.org website.

Last year 521 foreign troops were killed. Blotz said building pressure on the Taliban is key "not only to win over the Taliban but also protect the people of Afghanistan against the Taliban and reduce casualties by doing so".

"Therefore it is very important to increase our
capacities, to increase numbers and quality of the Afghan
security force plus the Afghan local police, and this is
absolutely necessary," he added.

"I don`t want to speculate on the number of casualties
(next year)," the spokesman said.

PTI