More than 60 militants killed in Afghanistan (Lead)

December 1st, 2008 - 7:06 pm ICT by IANS  

TalibanKabul, Dec 1 (RIA Novosti) At least 60 Taliban militants have been killed in Afghanistan in security operation overnight Monday, a defence ministry said. The spokesman said that 33 militants were killed in the southern province Helmand, and others were eliminated in military operations in the eastern provinces of Kandahar and Farah and Ghazni in the west.

The security forces arrested 17 militants in the eastern province of Pactia.

A militant commander, believed to be involved in the killing of 10 French soldiers in August, was also killed in an operation in the Sarobi district about 50 km east of the capital Kabul.

Three civilians were killed and six injured in an attack by a suicide bomber on a German embassy convoy in the Afghani capital Sunday. The embassy staff were travelling in an armoured vehicle and escaped unhurt.

The current year has seen the worst violence in Afghanistan since a US-led international force overthrew the hard-line Islamic Taliban movement in 2001.

US president-elect Barack Obama has pledged to boost the US troop presence in the war-ravaged country, and has also said he will order to intensify operation against militants on the Pakistan-Afghanistan border, including raids into areas of Pakistan across the border known to be haven of the terrorists.

“If the United States has Al Qaeda, bin Laden, top-level lieutenants in our sights,” said Obama during a presidential debate, “and Pakistan is unable or unwilling to act, then we should take them out.”

His comments followed a speech in August, 2007 during which he said that the US under his presidency “would send troops into Pakistan to hunt down terrorists even without local permission, if warranted.”

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