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French troops on patrol in Kabul (file photo) (AFP) July 6, 2007 -- The top French commander in Afghanistan says NATO could rout the Taliban but has held off using full force in order to spare civilians.


General Pierre-Richard Kohn said if NATO applied "blind force," it would "defeat the Taliban quickly."


But he said the alliance, under criticism for civilians recently killed in its anti-Taliban operations, is not using cluster bombs or weapons that endanger civilians. Kohn accused Taliban insurgents of "barbaric methods," including using civilians as human shields.


(AFP)


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