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McChrystal Commends Afghan Forces in Stabilizing Kabul

American Forces Press Service

KABUL, Jan. 18, 2010 – Afghan National Security Forces countered an insurgent attack here in the capital city today, and with help from international forces, are securing the area where several explosions and small arms fire were reported this morning.

"Today's attack by the Taliban in Kabul is yet another example of their brutality and contempt for the Afghan people," said U.S. Army Gen. Stanley McChrystal, commander of International Security Assistance Forces, said. "Afghan National Security Forces effectively dealt with the situation and should be commended. We convey our heartfelt condolences to the innocent victims of this cowardly attack."

Near the Feroshga e Afghan Shopping Center and Serena Hotel in the downtown area, Afghan and Kabul Security Forces fiercely engaged insurgents who were using rocket-propelled grenades and small arms, killing at least six of the insurgents. The Afghan army and national police reported two casualties each in today's engagement. Officials did not yet know the number of civilian casualties.

The coordination by the various security forces highlighted their improved effectiveness in protecting Afghan civilians, military officials said.

The U.N. Assistance Mission in Afghanistan condemned the attack.

"We are aware that the Taliban have claimed responsibility for this attack," said Aleem Siddique, a spokesman for the mission. "We condemn this attack unreservedly. It is of particular concern that this took place in an area with so many civilians present."

Further information will be released as it becomes available, officials said.

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