Afghan, foreign troops kill over 130 insurgents: Governor

A week-long offensive by forces has killed about 130 insurgents in Kunar.

Last Updated: Apr 07, 2011, 10:11 AM IST

Kunar: A week-long offensive by Afghan and NATO-led forces has killed about 130 insurgents in an east Afghanistan province, the governor said on Wednesday, one of the highest militant casualty tolls from a single operation in recent months.

Fazlullah Wahidi, the governor of Kunar province, one of the areas in the volatile east where the Taliban have recently gained ground, said the week-long air and ground assaults had focused on two districts which the Taliban had taken over.

"The troops killed 132 insurgents, wounded 20 and detained another 40," Wahidi said from Kunar.

The regional office for the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) said that 80 insurgents had been killed in the operation. Six foreign and two Afghan soldiers also died.

Kunar shares a long, porous border with lawless tribal areas in neighbouring Pakistan believed to harbour Taliban and other militants. Last month, insurgents ambushed and abducted some 50 off-duty Afghan policemen in the province.
Wahidi said the fighters NATO and Afghan troops were battling were coming over the border from Pakistan, but added that he did not know their nationalities.

Afghan and ISAF troops had killed 64 civilians, including many women and children, during operations in Ghazi Abad district of Kunar in February, Afghan officials have said. ISAF troops have disputed this account and say they killed only insurgents, but have agreed to further investigations.

Violence in Afghanistan was at its worst last year since the Islamist Taliban government was toppled in 2001, with record civilian and military casualties.

Bureau Report