British kill 200 Taliban in largest operation since WWIISeptember 3rd, 2008 - 3:14 pm ICT by ANI
Kabul, Sept.3 (ANI): British commanders have claimed to have killed over 200 Taliban in one of the largest operations since the Second World War.
The attack took place as the Taliban tried to prevent a convoy of 100 vehicles from getting machinery to the Kajaki hydroelectric dam where it will provide a significant increase in energy for up to two million Afghans, says the Telegraph.
For the last five days the force has fought through the heart of Taliban territory to push through the 220 tonne turbine and other equipment that included a 90 tonne crane to lift it into place.
With a third turbine fixed at Kajaki it will mean that the extra electricity could double the irrigation output allowing farmers to plant two crops of wheat a year.
Escorted by attack helicopters, armoured vehicles and men of the Parachute Regiment, the trucks trundled into Kajaki. For the first 50 miles of its journey from the southern city of Kandahar the convoy was protected by American and Canadian troops. But for the second 50-mile leg through Taliban strongholds more than 3,000 British troops were needed to fight off the insurgents.
Lt Col Dave Wilson, of 23 Engineer Regiment, said the operation was the most significant “route clearance” operation since the Second World War with the sappers freeing the route of mines and improvised bombs.
“It was a huge achievement,” said Lt Col Wilson. “It was carried out through some of the most heavily mined areas of Afghanistan.”
While medics had prepared for casualties, commanders said there was only one wounded among the British, American, Canadian and Australian troops who took part in the operation - a British soldier was crushed when a trailer collapsed on him.
The Taliban had agreed to maintain a ceasefire in some areas but violated the deal, British commanders said.
The Chinese-made turbine will be installed as part of a project funded by the American development agency USAID to increase the output of the Kajaki power plant. (ANI)