Archive for Monday, October 30, 2006

70 militants killed after attack on base

October 30, 2006

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— NATO and Afghan troops killed 70 suspected militants who attacked a military base in southern Afghanistan, while a roadside blast killed one NATO soldier and wounded eight others, the alliance said Sunday.

Some 100 to 150 militants attacked a military base north of Tarin Kowt in Uruzgan on Saturday, said Maj. Luke Knittig, a spokesman for the NATO-led force. The alliance and Afghan troops fought back for several hours with small arms fire, attack helicopters and airstrikes.

Seventy insurgents were killed, Knittig said, upgrading an earlier estimate of 55 dead. One Afghan soldier was wounded. It was impossible to independently verify the death toll at the remote battle site.

The clash happened as NATO and Afghan troops press ahead with their new joint offensive - Operation Eagle - aimed at keeping pressure on the Taliban through the fall and winter, and to pave the way for long-promised development after the harshest fighting in five years.

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