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Taliban assail Trump's rejection of talks, vow to fight on

Taliban assail Trump's rejection of talks, vow to fight on

"North Atlantic Treaty Organisation is firmly committed to supporting them as they develop their skills and capabilities, and we are increasing the size of our Resolute Support training mission", Stoltenberg said in a statement.

Other previously available information on the size, attrition and performance of the Afghan forces continue to be unavailable.

The increase, though incremental, is indicative of the Afghan army's loosening grip on the country in the face of a determined Taliban insurgency.

Shah Hussain Murtazawi, deputy spokesman for the Afghan president, echoed Trump's stance, saying the Taliban have crossed a line by killing innocent civilians and defying repeated calls for peace talks.

In October 2017, 14 percent of Afghan districts were under the control or influence of the Taliban or other insurgents, an increase of one percentage point on the previous data from August.

The special inspector general for Afghanistan reconstruction, or SIGAR, said in a letter Tuesday the Department of Defense is at fault.

The new data was released by U.S. Forces in Afghanistan to CNN following inquiries on SIGAR's complaint.

In November 2015, the Afghan government controlled about 72 percent of the country, while the insurgents influenced just 7 percent.

Over the years, the SIGAR auditing effort has revealed many dubious practices by the USA, including instances of contractor fraud.

John F. Sopko, head of the auditing organization, expressed disappointment that the Pentagon initially had forbidden release of the data on relative control of the governing districts.

Mr. Trump on Monday railed against "atrocities" in Afghanistan, ruling out talks with the Taliban after earlier indicating negotiations could be a way out of America's longest war.

That's not classified information, according to officials, but SIGAR says it was labeled "not releasable to the public".

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