Coalition forces kill 18 suspected Taliban in Afghanistan

Sunday, November 21, 2010

KABUL - NATO-led forces killed at least 18 suspected insurgents in firefights and airstrikes in Afghanistan over the weekend, the alliance said Sunday.

At least 15 of the insurgents were killed in the Sangin and Kajaki districts of the southern province of Helmand Saturday in two separate airstrikes, the NATO-led International Security Assistance Forces (ISAF) said in a statement.

Two more suspected militants were killed after they attacked combined Afghan and coalition forces in the Shah Joy district of the neighbouring province of Zabul, ISAF said in a separate statement.

The joint Afghan and NATO forces also killed a suspected Taliban leader Saturday in the southern province of Uruzgan. That suspect had been held responsible for the killing of seven Afghan policemen in the province earlier this month.

Around 150,000 NATO and US troops are currently based in Afghanistan battling a raging insurgency by the Taliban, who were driven from power in late 2001.

Some 50 world leaders from NATO and its allies in Afghanistan met Friday and Saturday in Lisbon, where they approved a plan to start pulling their troops out of front line combat in Afghanistan early in 2011.

The NATO leaders, however, decided that their combat forces should remain in control of security in the most dangerous areas until 2014, and stay in a supporting role well beyond that date.

The Taliban denounced the decision and vowed that Islamic fundamentalist fighters “will not remain silent even for a single night until and unless the goal of complete freedom and formation of an independent government is achieved”.

“They (Taliban fighters) will not wait for the time of implementation of a given decision or timetable of withdrawal,” the militant group said in an online statement Sunday.

Filed under: Terrorism

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