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Coalition, Afghanistan to Improve Counter-Terrorism Cooperation

The U.S.-led coalition in Afghanistan and the Afghan government have agreed on ways to better cooperate in counter-terrorism operations.

The U.S. and NATO commander in Afghanistan, General David McKiernan, and Afghanistan's defense minister, General Abdul Rahim Wardak, agreed on the measures after holding talks.

A joint statement released Thursday said the two sides agreed to include more Afghan representatives in planning and executing counter-terrorism operations. In addition, they agreed to focus more on operations at night and in populated areas, and on searches.

The two sides also agreed to improve coordination to minimize the risk of civilian casualties, and to ensure that Afghan citizens search homes and carry out arrests.

Civilian deaths as a result of NATO and U.S. military operations have caused public outrage in Afghanistan.

Afghan and coalition forces said removing bomb makers, terrorist networks and foreign militants from Afghanistan will improve security for its people.