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Poll: Afghan Support For Taliban Declining

Taliban fighters hand over their weapons in Herat in September.

Taliban fighters hand over their weapons in Herat in September.

Support for the Taliban among Afghans has reached its lowest point in recent years, according to a survey partly funded by the U.S. government.

The survey released by the Asia Foundation found the number of people who said they sympathized with the aims of the Taliban had dropped to 29 percent, compared to 40 percent last year and 56 percent in 2009.

It also found that four in every five respondents back efforts for reconciliation and reintegration with insurgents.

The survey also found that nearly half of those asked -- 46 percent -- thought the country was moving in the right direction.

But for the first time since the survey began in 2004, a rising number now think that Afghanistan is moving in the wrong direction -- an increase to 35 percent from 27 percent last year.

Insecurity was identified as the biggest problem in the country, followed by corruption, unemployment, and poverty.

The survey was conducted among some 6,300 adults between July and August in all of Afghanistan's 34 provinces.

The Asia Foundation is a San Fransisco-based nonprofit organization.

The survey was conducted with financial backing from the U.S. Agency for International Development.

compiled from agency reports