21:01 GMT +320 February 2019
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    This April 13, 2016 file photo shows the seal of the Central Intelligence Agency at CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia.

    CIA Expanding Secret Operations Against Taliban in Afghanistan

    © AP Photo / Carolyn Kaster
    Military & Intelligence
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    The CIA has reportedly shifted its focus from the fight against Al Qaeda terrorists to the fight against the Taliban.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — The US Central Intelligence Agency is expanding its secret operations in Afghanistan against the Taliban movement by sending highly experienced officers and contractors to hunt and kill militants across the country, media reported citing US officials.

    According to The New York Times, the CIA has shifted its focus from the fight against Al Qaeda terrorist group and assistance to the Afghan intelligence services to the fight against the Taliban. This may reflect the agency's role in President Donald Trump's new US strategy on Afghanistan, the publication said.

    The CIA, in particular, has expanded its activity to hunt Taliban bomb makers, including during night raids and by sending small units known as counterterrorism pursuit teams to take part in these operations, officials told the media outlet.

    In August, Trump announced the new Afghanistan strategy, in which he pledged to continue US support for the Afghan government and military in their fight against terrorists and expand authority for US troops to target terrorists in the country. Trump also approved sending an additional 4,000 troops to the country, struggling to deter various militants.

    Afghanistan has been experiencing significant political, social and security-related instability for decades, as various terrorist organizations continue to stage attacks against civilian and military targets.


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