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US, UK Public Support for Afghan War Declines


Opinion polls in the United States and Britain indicate that on the eighth anniversary of the start of the war in Afghanistan Wednesday, public support for the conflict is slipping.

An Associated Press poll finds only 40 percent of Americans support the war, while in Britain, 56 percent of people surveyed in a BBC poll said they are against it.

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In Afghanistan, a Taliban statement marking the anniversary said the group never had any agenda to harm other countries, nor has it such an agenda today.

The group said its goal is Afghanistan's independence and the building of an Islamic state. But it also warned that if the West wants to turn Afghanistan into a colony, then it should brace for a prolonged war.

In violence Wednesday, a Spanish soldier was killed and five others wounded in western Herat province. Two Afghan civilians were killed and about 25 others wounded when their bus was hit by an insurgent rocket in eastern Ghazni province.

Meanwhile, the NATO-led force says Afghan and international troops killed or detained suspected militants in two separate operations in central Wardak and southern Helmand provinces Wednesday.

A NATO statement said that in Wardak, a joint security force killed and detained several suspected militants and destroyed a suicide vest during a raid on a compound known to be used by a Taliban group.

In Helmand province, Afghan and NATO forces detained several militants and uncovered 50 kilograms of black tar heroin. No Afghan civilians or security forces were harmed in the operations.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.

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