KABUL (Reuters) – In a brightly lit travel agency in a gloomy Kabul mall, business is booming for Naser Gulzad. But all he can think about is shutting up shop and following his customers out of Afghanistan.
Like many Afghans watching the exit of NATO-led troops and fearing a comeback by the Taliban or the country’s notorious warlords, Gulzad wants desperately to join an exodus gathering pace ahead of what is expected to be a tumultuous 2014.
KABUL (Reuters) – Pockets of al Qaeda militants will endure in Afghanistan beyond next year’s departure of most Western combat forces, but they have lost the ability to mount serious attacks of the kind that triggered the Afghan war, a senior U.S. commander said.
Major-General Joseph Osterman, the deputy operations chief of Afghanistan’s NATO-led force, said small numbers of al Qaeda fighters remained entrenched in the rugged eastern mountain province of Nuristan, where the forested terrain and plunging valleys provided natural havens.