- (AFP) -- Afghan troops backed by US-led forces killed
up to 50 suspected Taliban in ground and air raids in violence-wracked
southeastern Afghanistan, a local official told AFP.
- "In this operation 40 to 50 Taliban were killed
and their bodies are still laying on the ground," a spokesman for
the Zabul provincial government Ahmadullah Watan Dost told AFP by satellite
telephone on Monday.
- Some 1,000 Afghan soldiers supported by dozens of US-led
coalition troops were on the first day of an anti-extremist operation in
Zabul's Daychopan district, 300 kilometres (190 miles) southwest of Kabul.
- The operation was executed against suspected Taliban
and al-Qaeda bases in Daychopan's Dozi mountains, Watan Dost said.
- The bases were "smashed to dust" by coalition
bombing, he said, adding that there were no reported Afghan or coalition
- "In this operation coalition forces helped up with
their close air support and they bombed the Taliban bases and smashed them
to dust," he said.
- Five suspected Taliban were also arrested.
- The US military in Afghanistan were not immediately available
for comment. It was impossible to independently verify details in the remote
- The operation was launched after at least 14 people were
killed in fighting over the weekend in Zabul and the central province of
- Afghanistan is in the grip of a wave of violence from
suspected resurgent Taliban fighters, who are believed to be regrouping
in neighbouring Pakistan's remote border tribal regions.
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