It's too early to know whether the Taliban can be pushed out of a key part of southern Afghanistan, the general who heads up U.S. intelligence efforts in that country tells Morning Edition's Renee Montagne.
Maj. Gen. Michael T. Flynn says it likely won't be until after Afghanistan's presidential election one week from today, and after U.S. forces have had more time to go after Taliban fighters around Kandahar (where many of the militia's fighters have fled) that a clear picture will emerge:
U.S. Intel Chief: Picture Will Be Clearer After Afghanistan's Election
Meanwhile, in news from that Central Asian nation:
— Reuters says that "a former Afghan president, Burhanuddin Rabbani, survived a Taliban ambush on Thursday in northern Kunduz province, where militants clashed with police for a second straight night, officials said."
— The Associated Press reports that "Afghan President Hamid Karzai said Thursday he will
win next week's presidential election and will offer government positions to his top two challengers."
— The New York Times writes that "two bomb explosions in southern Afghanistan killed 14 people including three children at play, Afghan officials said on Thursday."