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Jan 25, 2016 12:59 AM

US official: Afghan army 'rebuilt' for battle with Taliban

The Associated Press

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) A U.S. military official in Afghanistan says major restructuring and leadership changes are underway among Afghan army units battling the Taliban in southern Helmand province.

U.S. Army Brig. Gen. Wilson Shoffner, the head of public affairs for the U.S.-NATO mission, says the Afghan army in Helmand is being "rebuilt," with key commanders being replaced.

Shoffner says the reasons for the changes in the 215 Maiwand Corps in Helmand "are a combination of incompetence, corruption and ineffectiveness." He spoke to The Associated Press on Monday.

He says the corps' commander has been replaced, along with "some brigade commanders and some key corps staff up to full colonel level." The Afghan Defense Ministry confirmed the changes.

Helmand has been a fierce battleground in recent months, with fighting taking place in 10 districts.

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