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NATO credibility in Afghanistan at stake
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NATO's hesitation to contribute more troops to Afghanistan would benefit Taliban militants as their elusive leader Mullah Mohammad Omar defined it a defeat of the alliance and vowed to continue war as long as the foreign troops remain in the post-Taliban country.

Omar in his latest but first statement in 2008 issued to media on February 11 described the reluctance of NATO member states to boost their military presence in Afghanistan as US defeat and called on the European nations to give up support for the US interest in Afghanistan.

"Our fighters would accelerate their attacks against American and its allied troops in Afghanistan," the one-eyed Omar said in the statement read out by his purported spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid from undisclosed location.

He also stressed that the "United States has failed in Afghanistan and is attempting to bring more troops from European nations to this country just in order to hide its failure."

Omar, the most wanted man in the US who has escaped the biggest manhunt in the region, issued the statement in the backdrop of expressing reluctance by key members of the western military alliance and Washington's request for reinforcing troops in the war-torn country.

Both US Secretary of States Condoleezza Rice and Secretary of Defense Robert Gates have been lobbying since long to woo further military support of the alliance's member nations in war on terror in Afghanistan.

Meanwhile, Gates and NATO's Secretary General Jaap De Hope Scheffer bluntly warned at the defense ministers' conference of the alliance's member states early this month in Vilnius that violence and terrorism could escalate across the world if NATO fails in Afghanistan.

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