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Afghanistan | International

UK troops take Taleban stronghold
by BBC (reposted)
Saturday Jul 15th, 2006 10:50 AM
British troops in Afghanistan have undertaken their biggest operation since the fall of the Taleban in 2001.
Three hundred soldiers - backed by hundreds of American and Canadian troops - have taken control of Sangin in the southern province of Helmand.

Six British troops have been killed in or near the town in recent weeks.

Military chiefs earlier defended their decision to call in US planes to drop 500lb bombs on Taleban fighters in the nearby town of Nawzad.

Afghan president Hamid Karzai has ordered an investigation into the circumstances surrounding the Sangin fighting, which has left 10 Taleban dead.

Compounds searched

Apache helicopters led the way early on Saturday for Chinooks which dropped the British troops on the ground - much of the fighting force of 3 Para battle group.

They were backed up by a further 700 coalition troops.

They sealed off the town and targeted a number of compounds which are being searched.

Captain Drew Gibson, spokesman for British forces in Helmand, said the situation was "all quiet" as night fell, but the large contingent remained in the area.

A Ministry of Defence spokeswoman said it was an ongoing 'cordon and search' operation.

More
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/south_asia/5183052.stm
by ALJ
Saturday Jul 15th, 2006 10:54 AM
Afghan and coalition forces say they have killed nearly 60 rebels in major clashes with insurgents in southern Afghanistan over the past two days.

The clashes come amid stepped up US-led military efforts to crush armed extremists, primarily the Taliban, behind an insurgency in Afghanistan.

Afghan army and coalition forces attacked around 40 rebels on Thursday and Friday in the southern Uruzgan province "in an effort to disrupt and deny enemy operations in those areas," a coalition statement said.

"Patrol reports and debriefings concluded that an estimated 31 enemy extremists were killed during engagements in Chora, Kala Kala, and Khorma villages," it said.

Another 10 were killed on Saturday in an early morning air assault on "several known extremist targets" in Sangin, in the southern Helmand province, one of the areas worst hit by a Taliban insurgency and where more than 2,300 British troops are based.

A major British operation is under way in Sangin, where a British base has come under regular attack in recent weeks and five British soldiers have died in hostile fire since late June.

Foreigners killed

Meanwhile, the defence ministry announced that the Afghan army had killed another eight rebels in Sangin on Friday.

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http://english.aljazeera.net/NR/exeres/840286CB-8BF2-43B8-BE0A-E6DC566D2141.htm
by UK Independent (reposted)
Saturday Jul 15th, 2006 11:26 PM


British-led troops yesterday attacked insurgents in the Afghanistan town of Sangin in Helmand province, killing at least 40.

Three hundred British paratroopers, backed by US and Canadian forces, entered the town which borders Kandahar in the early hours of the morning, targeting scores of Taliban militants gathered there. Four civilians were injured in the operation.

A Ministry of Defence spokeswoman said the mission was an ongoing "cordon and search" operation. "The purpose of it is to disrupt Taliban activities which in recent weeks have included attacks on both Afghan security forces and and coalition forces in this area," she said.

The clashes come amid increased efforts to suppress armed extremists in the south of the country. Six British troops have been killed in or near Sangin in recent weeks.

Coalition forces said that open-ended operations will continue there until the insurgent threat no longer exists. "The operation seeks to remove the Taliban from the security equation in Sangin," said Brigadier General David Fraser, commander of coalition forces in southern Afghanistan.

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http://news.independent.co.uk/world/asia/article1180247.ece