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NATO Official Says Afghan Troops Will Prevail In Kunduz

  • RFE/RL's Radio Free Afghanistan

An Afghan security officer takes position during an ongoing battle with the Taliban in Kunduz on May 3.

An Afghan security officer takes position during an ongoing battle with the Taliban in Kunduz on May 3.

A NATO official says Afghan security forces will defeat a Taliban insurgency near the northern city of Kunduz that has caused thousands of people to flee their homes.

Stephen Smithman, a spokesman for NATO's Resolute Support Mission in Afghanistan, told RFE/RL on May 4 that the aerial support and other hardware the Afghan military had will help it defeat the Islamic militants.

"The Afghan security forces are supported by air, by their own air force, they are supported by howitzers, and also by helicopters [that] can give them closer support," Smithman said.

He added that it "doesn't matter how [well-] trained the bad guys are, the [Afghan] security forces will succeed" in the northern Kunduz region.

Smithman said the Kunduz area was "tough terrain" and Afghan forces needed time to fight the Taliban but he believes there will be "a solution in a couple of weeks."

Some 2,000 families have been displaced by the fighting since Taliban forces attacked an area near Kunduz in late April.

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