Taliban toll 102 as assault continues

Associated Press

Kabul, June 23:

Afghan and US-led coalition forces surrounded a rebel hide-out in southern Afghanistan today as the number of insurgents killed from three days of fighting rose to 102, the defence ministry said. The battle was one of the deadliest since the Taliban insurgents’ ouster more than three years ago and was sure to add to growing anxiety that an Iraq-style conflict is developing here. “A total of 102 Taliban have been killed since the fighting started on Tuesday,” Defence Ministry spokesman Zahir Marad said, 26 more than were reported yesterday. “These deaths will have a huge impact on the rebels. Many are trying to flee. But we have them surrounded.”