WASHINGTON— The commander of U.S. forces in southern Afghanistan says he is encouraged by an anti-Taliban uprising among villagers in an area known as the birthplace of the Taliban movement.
Army Maj. Gen. Robert Abrams said Wednesday the uprising is the first of its kind in Kandahar province. He said it began about a month ago in Panjwai (panj-way) district, west of Kandahar city.
Abrams said Afghan officials have told him that Panjwai residents have grown fed up with the Taliban, and that the uprising was triggered in part by the beating of a villager by Taliban fighters. He said another contributing factor was the arrival about six weeks ago of a new, more effective, district police chief.
Abrams said he is hopeful that the anti-Taliban sentiment will spread.