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Afghanistan to Form Major Anti-Corruption Unit

The Afghan government says it will form a major anti-corruption unit to investigate graft among senior officials.

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Afghan Interior Minister Hanif Atmar told reporters in Kabul Monday that security officials from the U.S. (FBI), Britain (Scotland Yard) and the European Union (ELOPE) will train prosecutors in the unit.

The head of Afghanistan's anti-corruption office, Mohammad Yasin Osmani, recently told VOA that the government should address the task of reducing corruption within the next six months.

Osmani said Afghan ministers must examine all of their employees during the period to determine whether they were hired based on merit or cronyism.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai has come under increasing international pressure to fight corruption in his government since his disputed victory in a fraud-tainted election in August.

U.S. President Barack Obama said Monday on a visit to Shanghai that terrorist networks like al-Qaida pose the "greatest threat" to U.S. security. Mr. Obama said the groups are dangerous because they have "no conscience" when killing innocent civilians.

President Obama has promised a decision soon on if or how he will reinforce the nearly 68,000 U.S. troops fighting militants in Afghanistan.  U.S. officials have said a key issue for the president is the credibility of Mr. Karzai as a partner in the war.

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