From the Open-Publishing Calendar
From the Open-Publishing Newswire
Indybay Feature
Related Categories: Afghanistan | International
Many killed in Afghan fighting
by ALJ
Wednesday May 4th, 2005 9:38 PM
Twenty-one people have been reported killed in one of the deadliest clashes in Afghanistan between security forces and armed men in recent months.
The US military said on Wednesday that about 20 suspects and one Afghan police officer were killed in a bloody battle in the mountains of southeastern Afghanistan on Tuesday.

Six US soldiers were also wounded in Tuesday's clash, which occurred in Dehchopan district of Zabul province, the military said in a statement.

It said helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft joined the fight against a group of about 25 insurgents.

The casualty figures were still preliminary, the statement said, adding that five Afghan police officers were wounded, and six insurgents were detained and questioned.

It said the wounded US soldiers were in stable condition, and two had returned to duty. The four others were to be flown to a US military hospital in Germany for treatment.

Zabul lies in a swath of Afghan territory along the border with Pakistan, where Taliban-led fighters opposed to the government of US-backed President Hamid Karzai have revived their three-year-old insurgency after a winter lull.
by more
Thursday May 5th, 2005 9:39 AM
Fifty people have been killed over the last three days in fighting in Afghanistan, the authorities say.

Nine Afghan soldiers were killed on Wednesday in an ambush by militants in the southern province of Kandahar, a defence ministry spokesman said.

The number of Taleban militants and allies killed in a clash with US and Afghan forces in Zabul province has risen to 40, the US military says.

One Afghan policeman was killed in the fighting in Zabul.

Six US servicemen and five Afghan policemen were also injured.

The clash began when gunmen fired on coalition forces investigating the beating of a local man, the US said.

The US has about 18,000 troops mainly in the south and east of Afghanistan.

'Stood and fought'

Correspondents say that fighting on Wednesday near Spin Ghar in Kandahar province resulted in the worst losses suffered so far by the country's US-trained army.

The defence ministry said that three of its soldiers were injured in addition to the nine troops who died, but declined to give any more details.

Correspondents say that Tuesday' clash in Zabul's Deh Chopan district was one of the fiercest since the fall of the Taleban in 2001.

Those killed were a "mix of Taleban and anti-coalition militants", US spokesman Col James Yonts told the Associated Press news agency.

"These were well-trained, well-armed people... not just a rogue group," he said, "and they didn't flee, they stood and fought."

Initially the US said that 20 militants were killed.

But on Thursday a spokesman said the number of dead has risen to 40 - the highest from a single battle in nine months - after troops examining the battle scene found more bodies.

The Americans say that they used warplanes and helicopter gunships in support of their troops on the ground.

Afghan Interior Minister Ali Ahmed Jalali said that the fighting started when militants attacked three local doctors and police tried to free them. He said that the trio were subsequently "freed safely".