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Al-Qaeda Sanctuary Established in S-E Afghanistan

by Oui Mon Apr 19th, 2010 at 09:57:26 AM EST

U.S. troops pulled out of Kunar province last week, abdicating control of the Taliban supply route from Pakistan through the Koralgan Valley of Death. The Obama administration must have stopped the search for Osama Bin Laden, holed up in this extended mountainous region on the AfPak border.

Taliban and al-Qaeda foreign fighters take over Koralgan valley

(al-Jazeera) - The Taliban is claiming victory in eastern Afghanistan's Korengal Valley following the withdrawal of US forces from the remote outpost.

US officials, however, say the withdrawal in Kunar province was "a repositioning of forces" following a decision by General Stanley McChrystal, head of US and Nato forces in Afghanistan, to concentrate resources on urban areas.

Korengal Valley, dubbed the Valley of Death by US forces, was frequently the scene of heavy fighting. At least 42 US troops were killed there over the past five years.

Taliban fighters say tonnes of fuel and ammunition were left behind by US forces

Below the fold, latest video of Taliban control in valley »

Days after the US withdrawal, Al Jazeera visited the valley and found the Taliban had control of the area and access to every part of the camp.

Local Afghans were also coming to visit the area, now strewn with litter and debris.

One local man said he believed stability would return to the area, now that foreign forces are gone.

"We don't want Americans, we don't want Germans or any other foreigner. We don't want foreigners, we want peace. We want Taliban and Islam - we don't want anything else."

U.S. Army Soldiers from 2nd Platoon, Bravo Company, battle Taliban in Koralgan valley

"But I will not let myself be reduced to silence."


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