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US Special Envoy, Chairman of Joint Chiefs in Kabul for Talks


The U.S. special representative for Afghanistan, Richard Holbrooke, and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Mike Mullen, are in Kabul for talks with senior Afghan officials.

Speaking to reporters ahead of meetings Sunday, Mullen said he is convinced that the additional U.S. troops headed to Afghanistan will begin to help stabilize the Afghan south.

He said both the south and the east have been been heading in what he called the "wrong direction" for the past few years.

Southern Afghanistan is the center of a growing Taliban-led insurgency.

Also Sunday, the U.S. military in Afghanistan said Afghan army troops, advised by coalition forces, killed 14 militants in the southern province of Zabul on Saturday.

The military says the Afghan soldiers were on a combat reconnaissance patrol when militants attacked, and a firefight and airstrikes followed. It adds that no military or civilian casualties were reported.

The Obama administration recently announced a revised strategy to fight militants in Afghanistan and neighboring Pakistan. The plan includes sending thousands of additional troops to Afghanistan, along with more money to train Afghan police and develop tribal areas.

Holbrooke, whose oversight area also includes Pakistan, told reporters Sunday that regional powers will be instrumental to stemming the insurgency in Afghanistan.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP.

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