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Amnesty Offer Comes Ahead of Anti-Taliban Operations

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Issue: 24 Section: International News Geography: South Asia Afghanistan

December 13, 2004

Amnesty Offer Comes Ahead of Anti-Taliban Operations

by Geoff Hamilton

Agence France-Presse reports that an offer by allied forces in Afghanistan is succeeding in convincing former Taliban "rank-and-file" to turn in their weapons in exchange for amnesty. This came days before the beginning of a major operation against Taliban hold-outs in the provinces.

The operation involving 18,000 allied soldiers is similar to the one that came ahead of October's presidential elections. The operation is intended to weaken the control of conservative elements in rurals areas so that parliamentary elections can be held in April and to secure the territory so that provincial reconstruction teams can begin rebuilding critical infrastructure.

Col. David Lamm, chief of staff for US forces in Afghanistan, said forces would continue to fight the Taliban while offering moderates the option of turning themselves in under an amnesty.

Canada's 700 troops stationed in Kabul are not directly involved in the operation.

» Financial Times: US mounts fresh attack on Taliban

» News-Leader: Taliban amnesty could reduce U.S. troops in Afghanistan

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The Dominion is a monthly paper published by an incipient network of independent journalists in Canada. It aims to provide accurate, critical coverage that is accountable to its readers and the subjects it tackles. Taking its name from Canada's official status as both a colony and a colonial force, the Dominion examines politics, culture and daily life with a view to understanding the exercise of power.

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