US President George W Bush said Tuesday that he sees progress in defeating the Taliban in Afghanistan despite a rise in violence and an assassination attempt against Afghan President Hamid Karzai over the weekend, the dpa reported.
"So what I'm going to tell you now is we're making progress in Afghanistan, but there's tough fighting. I'm under no illusions that this isn't tough. I know full well we're dealing with a determined enemy," Bush told reporters at a press conference in the White House.
Bush again stressed the need to go after extremists and said he was pleased with the country's advances in infrastructure, the Afghan Army's involvement in the fight against the Taliban and opening up schools to girls.
On Sunday, Karzai survived an apparent assassination attempt that killed three people and wounded more than a dozen others during a ceremony to commemorate the country's victory over Soviet occupation.
Karzai has survived at least three assassination attempts in the past since the fall of the Taliban regime in late 2001.
More than six years after the fall of the Taliban - and despite the presence of some 50,000 international troops and more than 140,000 Afghan forces - Taliban militants were able to conduct the organized attack in the centre of the Afghan capital.
Taliban insurgents, who are mostly entrenched in southern and eastern Afghanistan, have waged a bloody war to topple Karzai's government and to expel the international forces from the country.