lundi, novembre 30, 2009
Taliban claims French bribery ploy
French troops deployed in Afghanistan are attempting to bribe Taliban fighters not to attack them, a senior Taliban leader has told Al Jazeera.
In an exclusive interview, Saif-Allah Jalili, the Taliban commander of the Kabul district, said on Monday that his men have been offered gifts and money by the French soldiers in order to persuade the fighters not to engage their forces.
"The French in Sorubi [in Nangarhar province in eastern Afghanistan] tried to send gifts to Taliban fighters and offered them a lot of money in return for not launching attacks targeting the French troops," Jalili said.
"But Taliban fighters replied by rejecting everything and by strongly demanding the departure of the French troops and all other troops from our country, which they invaded by force," he said.
The Nato-led International Security Assistance Force [Isaf] has denied Jalili's claims, saying they are Taliban propaganda.
In his interview, Jalili also claimed that local groups being armed by Western forces to confront his fighters were in fact handing over the weapons to the Taliban.
"There are many groups that work for the Taliban and also receive weapons from the foreign troops through the government," he said.
"They are supposed to fight us, but these groups fulfil their promise of loyalty by bringing the weapons to the Taliban," he said.
The Taliban claim comes only a month after Italian troops in the same area were accused of paying off Taliban fighters to keep the area calm.
Despite Italian denials, there were suggestions that French troops deployed in the region had no knowledge of the clandestine arrangement and an attack last year on them that resulted in the deaths of 10 French soldiers was directly because the payments had been discontinued.
The country is experiencing a recent peak in violence following the 2001 invasion and extra soldiers are said to be needed to battle opposition fighters and train local security personnel.
Barack Obama, the US president, is due to announce on Tuesday his decision on requests from his senior commanders for up to 40,000 more troops to be sent to Afghanistan.
The United States and Nato have more than 100,000 troops deployed in the country
Publié par UruK à 1:55 PM