Afghan war in toughest moment: NATO spokesman
The spokesman of NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) on Wednesday described the war against Taliban insurgents in Afghanistan as the toughest time this year and blamed the insurgents for killing over 160 Afghan civilians since beginning June, Xinhua reported.
"We are in the toughest part of this fight and the Taliban are becoming distrait," Brigadier-General Josef Blotz told a joint weekly press briefing with Zahir Azimi spokesman of Afghan Defense Ministry here.
He said that the Taliban did not care of their own code of conduct to safe that they should reduce civilian casualties.
"They have caused more than 160 Afghan civilians dead since first June," he said and added, "They have killed more than six time the number of innocent Afghans than international forces over the same period of time."
This is indefensible, the spokesman of NATO-led forces lamented.
"I think the Taliban leadership should have to explain this tragic loss of innocent lives to Afghan people," Blotz further said.
To reverse Taliban momentum, Gen. Blotz said ISAF continues to build up forces particularly in southern part of the war-torn country the hotbed of Taliban militants.
"With about 30,000 U.S. and non U.S. troops have arrived so far and more are on the way, many of those troops are being directed to south and southwestern part of the country and their effect will be critical," he stressed.
He made this comments a day after a soldier with Afghan National Army (ANA) opened fire on ISAF troops killing three British soldiers and injured four others in Helmand province south of Afghanistan.
"On behalf of ISAF forces we thank President Hamid Karzai for extending condolence and pledging to support the joint investigation to yesterday's incident in which an ANA soldier is alleged to killing three Britons and wounding others," spokesman of more than 130,000 NATO-led forces Brigadier General Blotz said.
He stressed such incident is tough but ISAF will get to bottom of incident and will not let it Afghan and international forces to part.
"We will continue to stand and fight shoulder to shoulder with Afghan National Security Forces against our common enemies," he further said.
More than 350 NATO soldiers including 34 in July with seven only on Tuesday have been killed in Afghanistan so far this year.
Gen. Azimi in his part also expressed condoles for families, friends as well as British people and government.
"We are deeply sorry over the tragic incident," said Afghan Defense Ministry spokesman Azimi.