Kandahar: Security operations are to be increased in the Afghan city of Kandahar to prevent attacks before the Muslim festival of Eid and a key NATO conference, a US commander said on Thursday.
"We think that the Taliban are going to try and stage an explosion or series of explosions at Eid to create a media buzz to give the perception of insecurity," Lieutenant Colonel Victor Garcia said.
Garcia, the deputy commander of operations in and around the volatile southern city, and military police commander Lieutenant Colonel John Voorhees, both said the threat was "very serious", without disclosing further details.
The holy day and festival of Eid al-Adha, marked by the ritual slaughter of sheep, goats, cows and other livestock to commemorate Ibrahim`s acceptance of God`s command to sacrifice his son Ismail, is due to begin next Tuesday.
Leaders of the 28-member NATO alliance meet in Lisbon three days later, with discussions likely to be dominated by a timetable for the handover of security to Afghan forces.
The insurgency is fiercest in the southern province of Kandahar and the city itself, where thousands of US-led troops and Afghan forces have stepped up operations this year to reclaim the Taliban stronghold.
An International Security Assistance Force spokesman in Kabul said that no specific operations had been ordered elsewhere over the Eid period.