Kabul, 24 Sept. (AKI) – By Giovanni Del Re – NATO’s top military commander, General John Craddock, has expressed concern about the growing number of civilians being killed or wounded in Afghanistan by a resurgent Taliban.

In an exclusive interview with Adnkronos International (AKI), Craddock said that the Taliban had changed its strategy and there was greater insecurity in Afghanistan.

“There is greater insecurity, increased violence, but it is generally located in the east and the south, (and) it is not unexpected,” Craddock said.

“There is growing activity on the border of Pakistan-Afghanistan, there is an increased number of border fighters, I think there is an increased complexity.”

Craddock spoke to AKI during a visit to NATO’s ISAF mission, the international force which includes 52,000 troops from 40 countries.

Speaking about the Taliban in Afghanistan, Craddock said there had been an increase in the deployment of improvised explosive devices and suicide bombers.

“They have changed tactics, there is an increased number of civilians killed or wounded, Afghan police forces are targeted and attacked,” he told AKI.

“I am concerned about the increase of violence, concerned about the governance, it seems not to be working in the way it should.”

Craddock expressed particular concern about the dangers along the border between Afghanistan and Pakistan.

“The border with Pakistan if not the problem, is the problem we focus most in terms of security,” he said.

“We have got to have coordination with forces on the ground: Afghan forces, ISAF forces, and Pakistani forces on the other side.”

He said ISAF has opened the first border coordination centre at the Khyber pass and there are plans for five others on the border between Pakistan and Afghanistan.

“That’s a start to get a common picture on the ground and be able to trade information back and forth on the Taliban invaders,” he said.

Craddock said while there was no increase in attacks in Kabul, there were more IED bomb attacks and suicide bombings elsewhere.

“It is very difficult to understand what’s going on because of the complexity of tribal affiliation. I think what we are seeing here is also due the fact that, when the efforts in the south are effective, they push the insurgency to the west and mostly in the central part of the country.”

He said attacks in Kabul should be seen in perspective.

“Of course, every suicide bombing, every attack reported will be seen as lack of security. But in a city of that size you can’t prevent every IED, every attack, and insurgency knows that an attack captures the attention of the media, and will reported over and over again.”