Kandahar: Thirty-two Taliban and three
soldiers have been killed in an Afghan-NATO operation in
Helmand province ahead of a major anti-Taliban push, the
provincial government said on Thursday.
The operation took place in Nad Ali district, west of the
provincial capital Lashkar Gar, yesterday, provincial
government spokesman Daud Ahmadi told agency.
"We had an operation in the Nad Ali area last night,"
"During the operation 32 Taliban were killed and the
bodies of some of them remained in the area."
The southern province of Helmand, along with neighbouring
Kandahar, has been the hub of the Taliban insurgency in
Afghanistan since their regime was pushed from power in the
US-led invasion in late 2001.
The Marjah area, south of Nad Ali, is set to be the scene
of a major military operation headed by US Marines who have
been massing in their thousands, along with Afghan and NATO
troops, for weeks in preparation.
Afghan and NATO officials said yesterday the operation to
clear the Taliban from one of their last bastions should begin
soon but gave no specific timeframe.
About 113,000 international troops are deployed in
Afghanistan to eradicate the Taliban, with another 40,000
reinforcements due to arrive over the coming months. Most
reinforcement will be sent to the southern insurgency