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Afghan gov't rejects claim of U.S. intelligence chief
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20:49, February 28, 2008

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Afghanistan defense ministry on Thursday described the claim of U.S. National Intelligence Director Michael McConnell as baseless and rejected.

McConnell, according to media reports, told the Senate Armed Services Committee on Wednesday that President Hamid Karzai government controls just 30 percent of his country while Taliban's grab covers 10 percent of the post-Taliban nation.

He also claimed that the remaining 60 percent of Afghan territory are at the control of local warlords and tribal chieftains.

More than 360 districts in the country's 34 provinces are in the control of government and local officials have been appointed by government are running their business as usual," a statement of defense ministry released Thursday said.

It also added that recent survey conducted by U.S. military in relatively troubled southeastern region confirmed government's control over 83 percent of the region.

"Afghanistan National Army and other law enforcing agencies which have won the support of Afghans and the international community are getting stronger while the influence of local warlords is waning by each passing day," the statement stressed.

Source: Xinhua

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