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News number: 8806151119

15:32 | 2009-09-06

World

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Afghan MP: Taliban Using US, ISAF Assault Rifles

TEHRAN (FNA)- A member of the Afghan parliament on Sunday questioned escalation of Taliban insurgency in the relatively calm province of Kunduz, north of Afghanistan, saying that the Taliban is using the same assault rifles used by US forces and ISAF.



"The Kunduz (Qanduz) province is a region that does not border with insecure provinces or the countries in which the Taliban are trained. And that brings the question which country or province is supporting the Taliban in Kunduz," Kunduz Deputy in the Afghan Parliament Fatemeh Aziz told FNA.

"The main problem is that the Taliban is using the same assault rifles which are used by the US forces and ISAF (the International Security Assistance Force). All of Kunduz people are asking how Taliban has been armed with the weapons and who supports of them," Aziz went on saying.

She further reiterated that growing support for the Taliban and escalation of the group's insurgency in Kunduz, have raised deep doubts and strong suspicions in the minds of the people in the region.

Aziz noted that she and other provincial officials have not yet been able to find a proper response or explanation for the question.

At least 93 people, mostly civilians, died in a NATO airstrike in northern Afghanistan Kunduz Friday night. The air attack occurred as villagers arrived to take some of the fuel.

The strike destroyed two fuel tankers hijacked by gunmen as villagers were clamoring to collect free fuel at the Taliban's invitation, witnesses said.

While officials insisted most of the dead were militants, President Hamid Karzai, who is leading the count in controversial elections, said any targeting of civilians was unacceptable and sent a delegation to investigate.

On Saturday, the commander of the US and NATO troops in Afghanistan, General Stanley McChrystal, promised a full investigation into Friday's air strike.