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Back issue: Thursday, 6th December 2007 Change DateLatest Issue

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The Scotsman Thu 6 Dec 2007

Exodus as British set to attack Taleban

JEROME STARKEY IN KABUL

HUNDREDS of families have started to flee Musa Qala, a Taleban stronghold in southern Afghanistan, ahead of an "imminent" British attack.

Assadullah Wafa, the governor of Helmand, said yesterday the operation had started, but British military sources insisted they had not yet launched their assault.

Civilian families began evacuating the area after NATO aircraft dropped leaflets designed to terrify Taleban fighters.

"The leaflets were dropped in a specific area, targeting a specific group of individuals, saying, 'We are watching you'," a spokesman for the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) said. Pictures were used, instead of words, on leaflets because most people in Musa Qala could not read, he said.

Reconnaissance patrols by the Household Cavalry, the Scots Guards and the Royal Artillery have been pushing into Musa Qala district since 2 November to assess the Taleban positions and develop a plan of attack. At one point they were within a mile and a half of the town centre.

"The Afghan National Army and ISAF troops are going to go back in there, we're just not going to say when," the spokesman added.

Musa Qala has become a sanctuary for foreign fighters linked to al-Qaeda since it fell to the Taleban in February. Any operation to retake the town is likely to involve house-to-house fighting.

British forces had hoped to secure the defection of a senior tribal leader, who controls thousands in Musa Qala.

Mullah Abdul Salaam, a former Taleban commander, was reported to be in secret talks with the Afghan government to fight alongside the British. But news of his alleged negotiations leaked, provoking a rift in Taleban ranks.

This article: http://thescotsman.scotsman.com/international.cfm?id=1902652007

Last updated: 06-Dec-07 00:55 GMT

Comments

1. Conan, Moffat / 7:31am 6 Dec 2007

Kickass chaps, and kick it good.

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2. oder, Scotland / 9:13am 6 Dec 2007

good luck boys! give`em hell!

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3. AJ of Fife / 11:40am 6 Dec 2007

Err...shouldn't this be a secret?

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4. Stefan, NYC / 2:45pm 6 Dec 2007

Safe passage gents.

#3 LOL

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5. Bend Over / 4:17pm 6 Dec 2007

I hope they give the invaders a good kicking. No British soldier has any right to be in Afghanistan, least of all being paid for with my taxes. I pay taxes, part of which goes to the DEFENCE budget not the ATTACK & INVADE budget. Now I do have some sympathy for the soldiers but when they are given illegal orders they should refuse to obey them.

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6. Black & White Triumph, Green Road Park ....soon / 4:57pm 6 Dec 2007

sort them out, drop a leaflet saying you have a day to get out then turn the place to Quartz

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7. 57Nomad, california / 7:34pm 6 Dec 2007

#5

Ben, I read this with disbelief, "I hope they give the invaders a good kicking. No British soldier has any right to be in Afghanistan."

Wow, you are hoping that your own guys get killed and that the barbarians succeed in imposing a most degrading and inhuman regime on the long-suffering Afghans. Tell us you're joking.

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8. Silence of the Yamz / 7:38pm 6 Dec 2007

I hope they tear these militant ragheads a new one!


#5. Your poxy annual tax bill wouldnt cover the cost of a pair of khaki trousers. Shut it!

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9. Lynne, USA / 10:28pm 6 Dec 2007

Good luck guys and do us proud!!

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10. Bend Over / 2:47am 7 Dec 2007

7

Give me one moral or legal reason why British soldiers have any right being in Afghanistan, then give me one moral or legal reason why the Afghans do not have the right to defend themselves.

We seem to have a pervasive disease in Britain where we think we have some God given right to trot round the world at whim imposing our ways on others, one day it will backfire on us and some bigger bully will invade us and impose their way of life here.

5

" Your poxy annual tax bill wouldnt cover the cost of a pair of khaki trousers. Shut it!"

The country is trillions in debt and you think we can afford to police the world ? The British Empire finished 60 years ago, get used to it.


And why don't all these gung ho keyboard warriors join up tomorrow instead of cheering as other people die for nothing.

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11. oder, scotland / 8:27am 7 Dec 2007

10. Bend over

And why don't all these gung ho keyboard warriors join up tomorrow instead of cheering as other people die for nothing.

this gung ho! warrior has! posters *8 advice was good!..... take it!..and be quiet! you no nothing about soldiers!

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12. Bend Over / 1:36pm 7 Dec 2007

Oder, I have news for you, Afghanistan is no business of yours, George Bush, Tony Blair or Gordon Brown. Why don't you all quit meddling in other peoples business before Russia and China say enough is enough and decide to teach us a lesson.

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13. 57Nomad, california / 4:28pm 7 Dec 2007

#12 Ben

Ben said:

"Afghanistan is no business of yours, George Bush, Tony Blair or Gordon Brown. Why don't you all quit meddling in other peoples business before Russia and China say enough is enough and decide to teach us a lesson."


I thought we'd been over this Ben. Afghanistan is where Osama's training camps were. After 9/11 we asked the Talib's to hand over Bin Laden. They refused. We are well within our rights in Afghanistan. When our country is attacked and our people murdered your "meddling in other people's business," doesn't hold water.

The only lesson the Russians and the Chinese to teach us are how to survive on rice and beets.

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