Berlin: Special forces of the NATO-led
military coalition in Afghanistan have killed 365 Taliban
leaders over the past three months, German news magazine Der
Spiegel said in its online edition on Thursday.
The elite troops, mainly from the United States,
killed the insurgents in commando operations between May 8 and
August 8, said the magazine quoting a confidential
International Security Assistance Force briefing.
During the same period 1,395 suspects were
arrested, according to the briefing to diplomats and military
In June the former US commander in Afghanistan,
General Stanley McChrystal, told the media that US special
forces, whose number have almost tripled in a year, killed or
captured 121 leading Taliban over the three previous months.
McChrystal was forced to retire after making
scathing comments to a magazine about the Barack Obama
The special forces are equipped with helicopters,
planes and drones, and mostly act at night to deprive the
Taliban of their leadership, according to press reports.
McChrystal`s successor, US General David Petraeus,
said on Monday that the international troops he commands in
Afghanistan had turned the tide on the Taliban`s "momentum"
there, although he warned tough battles still lay ahead.
In an interview with the BBC, he also played down
the prospect of a rapid withdrawal of US troops next year,
repeating his insistence that Obama`s target of July 2011 was
only a "date when a process begins".