Kabul: A US airstrike killed eight militants
including a local Taliban commander in northern Afghanistan,
NATO and Afghan officials said on Sunday.
The battle against the Taliban in Afghanistan has become
increasingly countrywide -- with insurgent cells operation and
launching attacks in the west and north, making combating the
insurgency more complex amid a leadership shake-up with the
replacement of the top commander in the war.
And violence has been on an upswing in the
always-volatile south in recent weeks, with deaths reported
daily. In the latest incident, a US service member was killed
in a bomb attack in the south, said Col Wayne Shanks, a US
June has become the deadliest month of the war for NATO
troops with at least 91 killed, 54 of them American. For US
troops, the deadliest month was October 2009, with a toll of
Yesterday`s strike in Kunduz province was called in on a
group of insurgents who were meeting in a field in an
unpopulated part of Chahar Darah district, NATO said in a
statement. The area, called Baghi Shirkat, is about 30
kilometers west of Kunduz city.
Afghan officials said a Taliban commander who helped
smuggle weapons was among the dead, NATO said.
Eight militants were killed in all, said Abdul Rahman
Aqtash, the deputy provincial police chief. No civilians were
wounded in the strike, NATO said.
Meanwhile, another eight militants were killed in a
NATO-Afghan military operation in eastern Ghazni province,
according to Gen Khail Buz Sherzai, the provincial police
NATO and US forces are continuing operations as they wait
for the arrival of new commander Gen David Petraeus. He is
taking over for Gen Stanley McChrystal, who was ousted by
President Barack Obama after he and his aides were quoted in
Rolling Stone magazine making disparaging remarks about top
Obama administration officials.
The top American military officer, Adm Mike Mullen, flew
to Afghanistan yesterday to assure President Hamid Karzai that
Petraeus would pursue the policies of his predecessor,
including efforts to reduce civilian casualties.