US to take control of NATO Afghan force?
In the face of growing violence, NATO is considering ending its rotating command for the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan. NATO commander Gen. Bantz Craddock of the US said "it would be better if we had one country take lead as opposed to rotate." ISAF includes 47,000 soldiers from 40 countries who work alongside a separate US-led coalition numbering about 20,000 and the Afghan security forces. The US has 34,000 troops in Afghanistan, 16,000 of whom are under ISAF. (AFP, May 8)
At least seven were killed, including two NATO soliders, in gun-battles in Khost province May 7. (VOA, May 7) On April 29, at least 18 Afghans, including seven civilians, were killed and 31 wounded in a suicide attack on an opium eradication team led by the district chief, tribal elders and police in Khogiani, outside Jalalabad. (Reuters, April 30)
See our last post on Afghanistan.