Afghan, foreign troops kill more than 60 insurgents: NATO force

The operation against the insurgents started on May 13 in Faryab province.

Last Updated: May 19, 2011, 16:13 PM IST

Kabul: A three-day offensive by Afghan and foreign forces has killed at least 60 insurgents in a relatively peaceful northwestern Afghan province, the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) said.

The operation against the insurgents -- which produced one of the highest militant casualty tolls in recent months -- started on May 13 in the Qiasar district of the remote Faryab province, ISAF said in a statement.

"(Combined forces) killed more than 60 insurgents during clearing operations ... The combined force cleared the area around Ghuchghar village after receiving reports of insurgent activity," the force said late on Wednesday.

Bordering ex-Soviet Turkmenistan, Faryab province has seen sporadic violence in an increasingly unpopular war which has dragged on for almost 10 years.

Despite the presence of about 150,000 foreign troops, violence across Afghanistan last year reached its worst levels since the Taliban were overthrown in late 2001, with record casualties on all sides of the conflict.

The Taliban last month announced the start of a long-awaited "spring offensive”, vowing to carry out attacks, including suicide bombings on foreign and Afghan troops and government officials.

Bureau Report