'Secret' report says Taliban set to retake power

By REUTERS
February 1, 2012 04:16

 
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LONDON - The Taliban, backed by Pakistan, are set to retake control over Afghanistan after NATO-led forces withdraw from the country, Britain's Times of London newspaper reported on Wednesday, citing a report compiled by US forces.

It described the report as secret and "highly classified", saying it was put together by the US military at Bagram air base in Afghanistan for top NATO officers last month. The BBC also carried a report on the leaked document on its website.

"Many Afghans are already bracing themselves for an eventual return of the Taliban," the Times said, quoting the report. "Once ISAF (NATO-led forces) is no longer a factor, Taliban consider their victory inevitable," it quoted the report.

The document stated that Pakistan's security agency was assisting the Taliban in directing attacks against foreign forces -- a charge long denied by Islamabad.

Its findings were based on interrogations of more than 4,000 Taliban and al-Qaida detainees, the Times said, adding however the document was scarce on identifying individual insurgents.

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