Afghan president seeks defense of cities as Taliban advance

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KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — The Afghan president is blaming the American troops’ speedy pullout for the intensified violence in his country. He says his administration will now focus on protecting provincial capitals, cities and major urban areas in the face of the rapidly advancing Taliban. Ashraf Ghani spoke to lawmakers on Monday, urging them to back a national mobilization drive against the Taliban. He said the Taliban are not committed to peace and that Afghan forces need to change the situation on the battlefield. The war between the Taliban and Afghan government forces has intensified over the past few months, as U.S. and NATO troops complete their pullout from the war-torn country. 

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