50 Taliban killed in Afghan, US sweeps

Kabul, September 8:

At least 50 Taliban rebels have been killed in two days of operations by Afghan and US-led troops across insurgency-hit southern Afghanistan, the defence ministry said today.

In a single operation in the southern province of Kandahar, over 40 rebels were killed, the ministry said in a statement.

The casualties occurred in Sha Wali Kot, it added.

Dozens more were killed in similar sweeps elsewhere in Kandahar and neighbouring Helmand province, the statement said without giving an exact figure. The rebels were killed in a two-day long sweep in the region, it added.

“In Sha Wali Kot alone, 42 enemy fighters were killed and their bodies were recovered,” the statement said, adding the operations were backed by coalition air support. It did not give an exact date.

Meanwhile, Afghan security forces backed by international troops launched a new offensive on Thursday in Zabul province, next to Kandahar.

Seven insurgents were killed during the operation, called “Black Scorpion,” it said. Kandahar has suffered heavy clashes in recent weeks with around 400 rebels killed in clashes since mid-August, according to official figures.