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US defense secretary Leon Panetta visits Kabul

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Khaama Press
Khaama Presshttps://www.khaama.com
Khaama Press is the leading news agency of Afghanistan with over 3 million hits a month.

U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta arrived in Afghanistan on Thursday for talks with military leaders amid rising violence in the war against the Taliban and a spate of deadly incidents, including a NATO air strike said to have killed 18 villagers.

Making his fourth trip to the war zone, Panetta acknowledged the increase in attacks and that the insurgents appear to be much more organized. But he insisted that the overall level of violence was down, and that commanders had expected the uptick.

Mr Panetta has acknowledged the increase in attacks and that the insurgents appear to be better organized, but he is insisting that the level of violence is still down and that commanders had expected the increase in fighting.

Panetta, who flew to Kabul from New Delhi, said he wanted “to get a sense of just exactly what are the Taliban doing”.

“There’s been an increase in the attacks,” he said, adding that the overall level of violence in the country was still down compared to previous years.

Panetta also planned to visit troops and hold talks with the Afghan defense minister, General Abdul Rahim Wardak.

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