Kandahar Lawmakers to International Forces: Don’t Leave

Posted November 1st, 2011 at 1:20 pm (UTC-5)
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Lawmakers from Afghanistan's southern Kandahar province are asking for international forces to stay put, at least for time being.

Speaking Tuesday in Kabul and flanked by other members of the Afghan parliament representing Kandahar, Khalid Pashtun said Monday's deadly attack in the province's capital is proof NATO troops are still needed.

The combined assault and suicide bombing near the offices of the United Nations' refugee agency in Kandahar killed five people, including three security guards working for the U.N. agency. The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai is expected to announce which regions will be included in the second phase of the security transfer, set to take place in the coming weeks. Pashtun and his colleagues fear the region could be included in the next phases of the NATO troop pullout.

Kandahar remains a Taliban stronghold.

Elsewhere, two more NATO troops died in a roadside bombing Tuesday.

NATO said the troops were killed in eastern Afghanistan, but did not give any additional details.

The coalition on Tuesday condemned Monday's bombing at the UNHCR office in Kandahar.

NATO also condemned a roadside bombing that killed four children in Wardak province on Monday.

The commander of U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan, General John Allen, said these “callous” acts against civilians are just more examples of the insurgents' “murderous ways and lack of respect” toward the Afghan people.