NATO trooper, 47 Taliban killed in AfghanistanApril 5th, 2009 - 2:52 am ICT by IANS
Kabul, April 5 (DPA) At least 47 suspected Taliban militants were killed in clases with the Afghan and international forces across Afghanistan, the military said Saturday.
In southern Helmand province, Afghan and US-led coalition forces killed 15 militants in an operation in Kajaki district Saturday, the US military said in statement.
The compounds where the militants were targeted were used for weapons and bomb-making, materials trafficking, and as a safe-haven for insurgent fighters moving between Helmand and Oruzgan provinces, it said.
Also in Kajaki district, the combined forces killed 20 other suspected insurgents in another operation Friday, a separate US military statement said.
The militants were killed by small arms fire and airstrike after they attacked the combined forces who were conducting a combat reconnaissance patrol in the areas, the statement said, adding that six Taliban fighting positions were also destroyed.
Kajaki district, where the largest hydro-power plant in the region is located, has witnessed a series of clashes between Taliban insurgents and Afghan forces backed by international troops.
In the past five days more than 100 insurgents were killed in separate clash in Kajaki and in the neighbouring province of Uruzgan, according to military sources.
“Militants in the Kajaki district are known to be heavily involved in bomb-making, weapons smuggling, drug activity, direct attacks on Afghan and Coalition forces and intimidation of the local people,” the military statement said.
Separately, Afghan and NATO-led ISAF forces killed 12 suspected insurgents during a gun-battle in Baraki Rajan area of Baraki Barak district of central Logar province, ISAF said in separate statement. A woman was also killed in the cross fire, it said.
The firefight began after the combined forces pinpointed a group of insurgents trying to plant a roadside bomb, it said, adding that the militants retreated to a compound and then the shootout started when they refused to surrender peacefully.
Five suspected militants were detained by joint forces, it said, but did not say if there were any casualties on the side of the combined forces.
Meanwhile, a trooper of the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), who was injured in a roadside bomb blast in the southern region, died of his injuries, the ISAF said in a statement.
The statement did not reveal the nationality of the soldier, nor did it say where exactly in southern region the incident took place. Most of the soldiers serving under the banner of ISAF are from Canada, Britain, Netherlands and the US.
Around 170,000 Afghan security forces are also battling the resurgent Taliban alongside their international partners. The US, meanwhile, is planning to send 17,000 additional combat forces and 4,000 military advisors and trainers to Afghanistan this year to contain the insurgency.
With new US forces, there will be more than 90,000 international forces in Afghanistan deployed from 42 nations.
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Tags: afghanistan kabul, airstrike, coalition forces, cross fire, firefight, gun battle, helmand province, hydro power plant, international troops, kajaki, logar, militants, military sources, neighbouring province, oruzgan, reconnaissance patrol, roadside bomb, safe haven, small arms fire, uruzgan