NATO: 15 Afghan insurgents killed in the south

At least 15 insurgents were killed by in a fierce round of fighting in Helmand province and 15 other militants were detained during three overnight operations targeting Taliban leaders across Afghanistan, NATO said.

Last Updated: Nov 13, 2010, 00:18 AM IST

Kabul: At least 15 insurgents were killed
by in a fierce round of fighting in Helmand province and 15
other militants were detained during three overnight
operations targeting Taliban leaders across Afghanistan, NATO
said on Friday.

The heavy fighting erupted yesterday in Sangin
district after a member of a joint Afghan and coalition patrol
was struck by a homemade bomb, the coalition said. Insurgents
continued to attack as a coalition helicopter evacuated
casualties. The coalition force called in air support and the
insurgents were killed by missiles, a 30mm cannon and
artillery fire.

Also in Helmand, a joint force captured several
suspected insurgents in Musa Qala district yesterday while
going after a senior Taliban leader known for trafficking in
weapons and explosives.

Afghan and NATO troops continue to battle a resilient
insurgency in Helmand province while Afghan officials work to
improve governance and rush development into the region.

In neighbouring Kandahar province, Afghan and
coalition forces detained other suspected insurgents in
Panjawi district while pursuing a member of the Taliban
suspected of transporting bomb parts and other weapons between
Pakistan and Kandahar, the largest city in the south.

In the third operation, which was conducted in Khost
province in the east, security forces also detained insurgents
while looking for a member of the al Qaeda-linked Haqqani
network who supplies weapons, vehicles and materials to
militant fighters in the area.

In total, 15 suspects were apprehended in the
overnight operations, NATO said.

The coalition also reported that two Taliban bomb
makers were captured yesterday in an area of Kandahar province
near the Pakistan border where NATO has been trying to disrupt
insurgent supply routes. Through intelligence tips, the
coalition tracked the two to a compound in Spin Boldak where
they were apprehended.

Numerous bomb components, including detonation
switches, were confiscated at the site.

PTI