Wednesday, July 14, 2010

No change in Afghan strategy, Cameron says

The British strategy in Afghanistan won't change despite attacks on the British military by a renegade Afghan solider, the British prime minister said.

International forces are hunting for an Afghan soldier accused of killing three members of the British military at their patrol base near the capital of Helmand province Tuesday.

The attack follows a weekend Taliban threat against international forces in Afghanistan dubbed al-Fatah, or "victory." The British Ministry of Defense said the incident was a "suspected premeditated attack" and the Taliban claim the Afghan soldier is now among their ranks, London's Guardian newspaper reports.

The attack comes as NATO puts weighted emphasis on the need for a self-sufficient Afghan security force, which the British government said was vital to any plans to draw down their mission in Afghanistan.

British Prime Minister David Cameron said the attacks on his forces shouldn't prompt a hasty reaction in terms of policy revisions.

"We must continue to work with the Afghan army to create a stable Afghanistan able to maintain its own security and to prevent al-Qaida from returning," he said.

U.S. military officials last week said U.S. Marines were increasing their presence in the northern and southern parts of Helmand as British forces redeploy to the central part of the province by the end of 2010.

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