Afghan army, NATO forces kill dozens of Taliban militants
23 March 2008
Kabul (dpa) – The Afghan defence ministry claimed on Sunday to have killed dozens of Taliban militants, including "a well-known terrorist" in southern Afghanistan in an operation which included NATO air strikes.
The operation, dubbed as "Patan Ghar" or "Afghan Mountain" took place on Sunday in Deh Rawood district of southern Uruzgan province by Afghan army and NATO ground and air forces, the army said in a statement.
Mullah Hashim, "a well-known" terrorist, was among the dozens killed, the statement said, but did not say if there was any casualties on the side of the combined forces.
The joint forces also seized around 40 weapons, including PRG7, AK-47 and PK rifles as well as a vehicle, which had been captured by rebels from the police forces in the province.
Following the bloodiest year in 2007 that left more than 8,000 people – mostly insurgents, but including up to a quarter of them civilians – dead, the Taliban-led militancy is again on the rise.
Taliban fighters are mainly active in southern and eastern provinces, both regions have long border with neighboring Pakistan, where Afghan officials vehemently claim that the rebels have safe-havens in other side of the border.
[Copyright dpa 2008]