Taliban denies peace overtures

2010-09-28 21:20

Kandahar - A Taliban spokesperson on Tuesday flatly denied a statement from the commander of Nato troops in Afghanistan that insurgent groups have made overtures about laying down their weapons.

A Taliban spokesperson dismissed US General David Petreaus's comments as "completely baseless", saying the insurgents would not "negotiate with foreign invaders or their puppet government".

"We want full and unconditional withdrawal of all invading forces from our country," Zabiullah Mujahid told AFP by telephone from an unknown location.

Petraeus, who commands more than 150 000 Nato and US troops in Afghanistan, told AFP on Tuesday that many small insurgent groups had already made "overtures" to Nato forces about quitting the fight.

"There have already been 20 or so overtures from small groups around the country," he said, referring to a programme aimed at reintegrating mid-level Taliban commanders and grassroots fighters back into Afghan society.