Pakistani Taliban To Counter Troop Surge

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

In Pakistan, a Taliban commander says he has sent thousands of fighters to Afghanistan to counter a troop surge by western forces there.

Waliur Rehman told The Associated Press in an exclusive interview Monday night that the Pakistani Taliban remain committed to battling the army in the South Waziristan tribal region, but they are essentially waging a guerrilla war.

Rehman is a deputy to Pakistani Taliban chief Hakimullah Mehsud, and the man in charge of the group's operations in South Waziristan.

''Since (President Barack) Obama is also sending additional forces to Afghanistan, we sent thousands of our men there to fight NATO and American forces,'' Rehman said. The Afghan ''Taliban needed our help at this stage, and we are helping them.''

Col. Wayne Shanks, a U.S. military spokesman in Afghanistan, called Rehman's comments ''rhetoric'' that were not to be believed.

''We have not noticed any significant movement of insurgents in the border area,'' he said.

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