AFGHANISTAN

NATO: Taliban Attacks Dropping

For the first time in years, the Taliban's attacks in Afghanistan are dropping and their momentum has been reversed, NATO officials said Saturday. “What we’re seeing now is a reversal, which is they’re regressing at this point,” said a senior coalition official. Militant attacks were down 26 percent in the quarter that ended in September, a senior official said, and that decrease means the overall level of attacks for the first nine months of 2011 dropped 8 percent from the same period last year. The number of attacks is still higher than in 2009, when the troop increase in Afghanistan began. But some questioned the validity of NATO’s data, especially as two people were killed by the Taliban in an attack in Panjshir Valley, the mountainous region north of Kabul known for being fiercely anti-Taliban.