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Attacks in Afghanistan to rise

Srinagar, February 19, 2008:

Guerrilla attacks on foreign troops in Afghanistan are expected to rise, a Reuters report quoting NATO's top operations commander on Monday said.

NATO Supreme Allied Commander Europe John Craddock said, "the numbers will go up."

At present 43,000-plus NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) are in Afghanistan fighting the Taliban insurgents.

NATO is fighting Taliban forces after its regime was overthrown in 2001.

A suicide bomber targeting a foreign military convoy killed 37 civilians near the Pakistan border on Monday, a day after more than 100 people were killed in the suicide attack.

Meanwhile Australia has decided to send military trainers to help build up the Afghan army, Defence Minister Joel Fitzgibbon said on Tuesday, as part of his push for a new international strategy for Afghanistan, Reuters reported

Australia, a close U.S. ally, was one of the first nations to commit forces to the U.S.-led war on terror, designed to oust Afghanistan's then Taliban rulers, following the Sept. 11, 2001 airliner attacks on the United States.

Australia has about 1,000 troops in Afghanistan, mainly working with Dutch forces, including special forces commandos who are hunting down Taliban militants.

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