Archive for Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Taliban take over villages near Kandahar

June 17, 2008


— Hundreds of Taliban fighters invaded villages just outside Afghanistan's second-largest city Monday, forcing NATO and Afghan troops to rush in while frightened residents fled.

The Taliban assault on the outskirts of Kandahar is the latest display of prowess by the militants despite a record number of U.S. and NATO troops in the country.

The push into the Arghandab district comes three days after a Taliban attack on Kandahar's prison that freed 400 insurgent fighters.

Those fighters, NATO conceded Monday, appear to be massing on the doorstep of the Taliban's former power base. The city of Kandahar lies only 10 miles to the southeast.

The sophisticated and successful jailbreak, followed by the movement into Arghandab, is the latest evidence of the Taliban's growing strength. The U.S. and NATO have pleaded for more troops in the last year and now have 65,000 in the country. But the militants are still finding successes the international alliance can't counter.


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