KUNDUZ: Up to 40 Taliban-linked militants have been killed in separate raids by Afghan and Nato troops in northern and central Afghanistan, officials said.
In the biggest single raid in weeks, Nato’s International Security Assistance Force said that two dozen insurgents were killed in the northern Kunduz province overnight. “An Afghan-international security force killed more than two dozen insurgents and captured several others while pursuing a senior Taliban commander in Kunduz last night,” it said in a statement. The militants were killed in clashes which erupted after troops came under fire from a mosque and nearby woods, the military said.
An operation to disrupt the militants’ movement in the province was continuing, it added. Head of Kunduz Police, Mohammad Razaq Youqoubi, said that 26 Taliban were killed during the operation by Afghan and coalition forces. He said that six militants were captured and four suicide vests were destroyed.
Meanwhile, 14 Taliban-linked militants were killed in a similar raid in the province of Ghazni, in central Afghanistan. Eight other militants were captured in the raid carried out by Afghan and western troops overnight. Around 130,000 foreign, mainly US, troops are based in Afghanistan, with another 20,000 due by August as part of a strategy designed to reverse the Taliban momentum and allow Washington to start withdrawing forces next year.
Published in the Express Tribune, May 14th, 2010.