Archive for Friday, June 20, 2008

Official: Taliban routed near Kandahar

June 20, 2008

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— A swift offensive by Afghan and NATO forces has driven Taliban militants from a strategic group of villages outside southern Afghanistan's largest city and killed 56 insurgents, Afghan officials said Thursday.

Gen. Mohammad Zahir Azimi, spokesman for the Defense Ministry, said the Afghan National Army had seized control of the villages. Two Afghan soldiers and one civilian were also reported killed.

NATO said the first 24 hours of the operation in Arghandab had been "very successful."

"No large formation of insurgents were met or spotted. Only minor incidents occurred," alliance spokesman Maj. Gen. Carlos Branco said at a news conference with Azimi. "The insurgents who were there, were evidently not in the numbers or with the foothold that they have claimed."

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