Taliban blames US economy, London riots on Afghan war

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The Taliban blamed the state of the US economy and last week's London riots on the war in Afghanistan in a statement published on its website Monday.

The insurgents claimed both situations were linked to the US and Britain spending hundreds of billions of dollars on the ten-year war in Afghanistan and again urged foreign troops to pull out of the country.

The Taliban are known to exaggerate and distort their public statements as part of a propaganda campaign accompanying a bloody armed insurgency.

"With no doubt, the immense and basic reason of the financial crises, deprivation and riots that United States and UK are facing now is because of the offensive and imperialistic policies and designs of these countries," a statement published on the Taliban's website said.

"They are proceeding the baseless and unjustified war by the expenses of their own people's taxes and they have turned their faces from the problems of their masses."

The statement repeated the Taliban's call for all foreign troops to leave Afghanistan and warned that if they did not, the US's financial troubles would "push you to the hollow of destruction like the Soviet Union."

The Soviets withdrew from Afghanistan in 1989, ten years after invading, in a move often linked by historians to the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991.

Earlier this month, the US had its credit rating downgraded by Standard & Poor's from AAA to AA+ for the first time ever amid ballooning debt.

In Britain, there were four nights of unrest on the streets of London and other cities last week.

The United States and Britain are the two largest troop contributing nations to the Afghanistan war, with around 100,000 and 9,500 respectively.

The Taliban's most recent large-scale attack in Afghanistan Sunday killed 22 people as militants attacked the compound of the governor of Parwan province, just north of Kabul.

Earlier this month, the militants also said they had shot down a US helicopter in central Afghanistan, killing 38 troops in the biggest single incident loss of life for foreign forces of the whole war.

© 2011 AFP

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