Jan. 26 - Afghanistan's elite soldiers take night raid training as they take over the operation from NATO. Simon Hanna reports.
Afghanistan's elite soldiers run assault drills at an army compound on the outskirts of Kabul. They're practising for one of the most effective but controversial operations against insurgents - night raids. But the raids and home searches are a major cause of friction between the Afghan president and his Western backers. The NATO-led raids, which began in 2009, have enraged entire communities and fuelled anti-American sentiment. President Hamid Karzai pressured NATO for the operation to end, so a compromise was needed. Now the raids are mostly being run by Afghan commandos. (SOUNDBITE) (Dari) COMMANDER FOR THE AFGHAN ARMY COLONEL JALALUDDIN YAFTALI: "I can certainly confirm that by this April we will be able to launch 60 percent of the night raid operations in Afghanistan independently." Violence across Afghanistan is at its worst since the Taliban were toppled by U.S backed Afghan forces in 2001. American combat troops are scheduled to withdraw in 2014. Simon Hanna, Reuters.