NATO says 14 insurgents killed in Afghan operation

NATO said on Tuesday that an air strike and ground clashes killed 14 insurgents in an operation in southern Helmand province, a major stronghold of Taliban militants.

Last Updated: Sep 21, 2010, 23:18 PM IST

Kabul: NATO said on Tuesday that an air strike
and ground clashes killed 14 insurgents in an operation in
southern Helmand province, a major stronghold of Taliban
militants.

A patrol of Afghan and NATO troops came under
small-arms and machine-gun fire in the volatile Nad Ali
district on Monday, NATO`s International Security Assistance
Force (ISAF) said in a statement.
"The combined force positively identified insurgent
firing positions in a tree line and responded with small-arms
and mortar fire," it said, adding that close air support was
called in.

"The engagement resulted in 14 insurgents killed and
one wounded, it said.

There was no independent confirmation of the death
toll.

Commanders say the Afghan army is increasingly taking
the lead in joint operations with ISAF forces.
The United States and NATO have almost 150,000 troops
in Afghanistan fighting a Taliban-led insurgency, nearing the
end of a ninth year after their regime was overthrown in a
US-led invasion in 2001.

PTI