(Edited from AP, Kabul) Afghan officials said Wednesday that firing Gen. Stanley McChrystal would disrupt progress in the war and could jeopardize a pivotal security operation under way in Taliban strongholds in the south.

At the end of a one-hour video conference Tuesday night with President Barack Obama, Afghan President Hamid Karzai expressed his confidence in the top NATO commander in Afghanistan, Karzai spokesman Waheed Omar said.

(Edited from AP, Kabul) Afghan officials said Wednesday that firing Gen. Stanley McChrystal would disrupt progress in the war and could jeopardize a pivotal security operation under way in Taliban strongholds in the south.

At the end of a one-hour video conference Tuesday night with President Barack Obama, Afghan President Hamid Karzai expressed his confidence in the top NATO commander in Afghanistan, Karzai spokesman Waheed Omar said.

The uncertainty over the leadership of the war comes amid mounting violence. NATO announced eight more troop deaths Wednesday for a total of 75 this month – matching the death toll of the deadliest month of the nine-year war in July 2009.

The dead service members include four Americans, two Romanians and a British Marine who died from combat, along with an Italian who died in a vehicle accident, according to military officials from the respective countries and Italian news reports.

While McChrystal was harshly scolded by his superiors in the United States, officials in Afghanistan rallied to his support, saying he had increased cooperation between Afghan and international troops, worked to reduce civilian casualties and gained the trust of the Afghan people.

“The president believes that we are in a very sensitive juncture in the partnership, in the war on terror and in the process of bringing peace and stability to Afghanistan, and any gap in this process will not be helpful,” Omar told reporters.

“We hope there is not a change of leadership of the international forces here in Afghanistan and that we continue to partner with Gen. McChrystal.”

On the other hand, Gen. Stanley McChrystal says he tendered his resignation out of his desire to see the mission in Afghanistan succeed.

McChrystal issued his statement Wednesday night from NATO headquarters in Kabul just minutes after President Barack Obama announced that he was dismissing the top commander in Afghanistan.

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