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Taliban better armed than French, reports Canadian daily

Latest update : 2008-09-21

The Saturday edition of Canada's The Globe and Mail published a secret NATO report claiming that Taliban fighters who attacked French soldiers in Afghanistan on August 18 were better armed and trained.

The Taliban fighters that ambushed French soldiers in Afghanistan on August 18 were well-trained and better armed than their enemy, according to a NATO report published in the Globe and Mail on Saturday.
  
Ten French soldiers were killed -- including one stabbed to death -- and another 21 wounded in the attack by about 100 Taliban in Sarobi, 50 kilometers (30 miles) east of Kabul.
  
It was the deadliest ground battle for international soldiers in the country since they toppled the Taliban regime in 2001, and the heaviest toll for the French military in 25 years.
  
The 30 French paratroopers that were ambushed did not have enough bullets or proper communication equipment, the newspaper said, citing a leaked NATO document marked "Secret."
  
That forced the French to stop fighting after only 90 minutes, the newspaper said.
  
The Taliban fighters also included snipers, and fighters used incendiary bullets that punches holes in armored vehicles.
  
"The enemy's accuracy was very good," the document said, according to the newspaper.
  
The attackers may also have included Pakistan-based extremists, a spokesman with NATO's International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), Canadian Brigadier General Richard Blanchette, told the newspaper.
  
"We do have hints that Al-Qaeda provides training to some insurgents on the other side of the border," Blanchette said. "Because it's close, it would be very reasonable to believe that this could have been an influence of outside training."
  
He added: "The fact that they have more sophisticated arms is perhaps also a sign there's a connection to outsiders."

Date created : 2008-09-21

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