Over 220 militants killed in Afghanistan fighting

September 1st, 2008 - 1:27 pm ICT by IANS  

Kabul, Sep 1 (Xinhua) More than 220 Taliban insurgents have been killed in the ongoing clean-up operations by the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) and the US-led Coalition forces in southern Afghanistan, a coalition statement said Monday.According to the statement, the joint forces have been engaging the militants in the southern province of Helmand since Aug 25 following repeated attacks on the troops.

The soldiers responded with small-arms fire, heavy-weapons and close air support, eliminating the militants’ threat and killed more than 220 militants in the week-long offensive, the statement said.

“Operations in the area led to the discovery and destruction of multiple weapons caches, including ammonium nitrate, 107 mm rockets, motorcycles, 60 mm mortar rounds and small-arms ammunition, it said.

“No ANSF or coalition forces service members have been killed during the operations,” it added.

Taliban insurgents who staged a violent comeback three years ago have intensified their activities targeting Afghan and international troops across the country to mount pressure on the government despite around 70,000 foreign troops being stationed in the war-torn country to keep peace and help reconstruction.

Conflicts and spiralling insurgency have claimed the lives of over 3,200 people so far this year.

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