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Afghan Army Chief Asks U.S. For More Training, Equipment

Afghan National Army forces train outside Kabul (file photo) (epa) June 4, 2007 -- The head of the Afghan National Army, Bismullah Khan, said during a visit by U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates that Afghanistan has asked Washington to provide more military equipment to its army and accelerate training.

Bismullah Khan said the additional support could allow Afghan forces to fight the Taliban on their own.

He made the comment as he toured a training center on the outskirts of Kabul with Defense Secretary Gates, who is currently on a visit to South and Central Asia.

Bishmullah Khan also called the lack of an Afghan air force a "serious problem."

Gates is expected to travel later today to Kyrgyzstan, where the United States rents facilities at Manas Airport to support operations in Afghanistan.

(AP, Reuters)