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Troop levels in Afghanistan insufficient: Clinton

The former US president says the resurgence of Taliban in Afghanistan signifies that there are insufficient coalition troops in the country.

india Updated: Sep 27, 2006 13:05 IST

The resurgence of the Taliban and the growth of the poppy harvest in Afghanistan are signs there are insufficient coalition troops in the country, former US President Bill Clinton said.

Clinton, addressing an audience at London's Royal Albert Hall on Tuesday, also said the global hunt for Al-Qaeda leaders must be intensified and warned that fighting terrorism through military methods alone carried a risk of encouraging people to turn to extremism.

"There are not enough troops to serve the country (Afghanistan)," he told delegates, some of whom had paid up to$570 to attend the lecture.

Securing governance in Afghanistan and tracking Al-Qaeda suspects were the two key global priorities faced by the world today, he said.

"I think it is important that the fight against terror secures a genuine Muslim democracy in Afghanistan and that we intensify the hunt for the leaders of al-Qaida, because they are still by far the most dangerous global network with global targets," Clinton said.

But Clinton, who will address the annual conference of British Prime Minister Tony Blair's governing Labour party on Wednesday, said the fight against terrorism would be far more successful if the world's powers used a twin track approach, which also involved efforts to reduce poverty.

First Published: Sep 27, 2006 13:05 IST