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Taliban Mocks Nato On Afghan War Anniversary
As the Afghan war enters its 12th year, the Taliban has mocked Nato for "fleeing Afghanistan" in "humiliation and disgrace".
It comes as concern grows that when international combat forces leave by the end of 2014, the country will again descend into civil war.
The US-led invasion on October 7, 2001 was launched against the Taliban government for harbouring al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden after the 9/11 attacks.
The Taliban were quickly toppled but began an insurgency that has grown in strength over the years.
"With the help of Allah, the valiant Afghans under the Jihadi leadership of Islamic Emirate defeated the military might and numerous strategies of America and Nato alliance," the Taliban said in a statement on Sunday.
"And now after 11 years of unceasing terror, tyranny, crimes and savagery, they are fleeing Afghanistan with such humiliation and disgrace that they are struggling to provide an explanation."
A total of 3,199 Nato soldiers have been killed in the war, more than 2,000 of them Americans.
Most deaths have occurred in the past five years as Taliban attacks escalated, according to icasualties.com.
There are fears the country will again fracture along ethnic lines as it did after Soviet Russia withdrew in the late 1980s.
"It was a very bad situation," said Wahidullah, who was a teenager when he was wounded in the 1992-1996 civil war.
"All these streets around here were full of bullet shells, burned tanks and vehicles.
"People could not find bread or water, but rockets were everywhere."
As Afghans take on increasing responsibilities before the Western withdrawal, official statistics show deaths in the Afghan security forces are running five times higher than those for Nato.
The international community insists Afghan forces will be ready to take over the fight against the Taliban in two years' time.
But many ordinary Afghans fear they will not be capable and the country will descend into a multi-factional civil war.