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Petraeus Says Afghan Fight To Shift East


General David Petraeus testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington on June 23.

General David Petraeus testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington on June 23.

The outgoing commander of U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan says the focus of the war there is about to shift.

General David Petraeus said fighting will likely move in coming months from Taliban strongholds in the south to the country's poorly guarded border with Pakistan in the east.

The U.S.-led coalition has concentrated most of its troops and attention in Helmand and Kandahar provinces in southern Afghanistan.

Petraeus, who is set shortly to become the director of the CIA, said more special forces, intelligence, and air power will be deployed in the east.

Petraeus spoke to The Associated Press and three other news outlets on July 4 after attending reenlistment ceremonies in Kandahar and at Bagram Air Field, north of Kabul.

The trip was one of the last of his command.

Petraeus will be succeeded by U.S. Marine Lieutenant General John Allen on July 18.

Petraeus's exit from Afghanistan comes as the United States begins a 15-month drawdown of some 33,000 troops by September 2012.

compiled from agency reports
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