18 Taliban rebels killed in Afghan raids | india | Hindustan Times
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18 Taliban rebels killed in Afghan raids

A policeman was also killed during the day-long raid on Taliban strongholds in Helmand province's troubled Garmser district.

india Updated: Aug 02, 2006 15:14 IST

Dozens of Afghan police raided Taliban hideouts in southern Afghanistan, killing 18 militants and injuring four others, police said on Wednesday.

A policeman was also killed during the day-long raid on Taliban strongholds in Helmand province's troubled Garmser district on Tuesday, district police chief Mohammad Rasoul Aka said.

The capital of southernmost Garmser district, bordering Pakistan, was overrun by Taliban rebels for about 48 hours last month and Afghan and coalition security forces have since stepped up action in the area.

Tuesday's raid was launched to "clear" Taliban. "Our operations will continue," the police commander said. He would not give details, citing security reasons.

The Taliban, unseated from power in a US-led offensive nearly five years ago, are still active mostly in southern and eastern Afghanistan where they carry out regular attacks.

A US-led coalition made up of thousands of mostly American troops has been hunting down the rebels since the Taliban fell but the insurgency has only grown in strength.

On Monday NATO's International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) took over from the coalition in six southern provinces, including Helmand where most of around 4,000 British soldiers in the country are based.

Three British soldiers were killed in Helmand on Tuesday.

The coalition will continue its counter-insurgency operations in the south while the 8,000-strong ISAF force in the region intends to put a greater focus on development.

Troops and police have killed around 1,000 rebels in a major operation in the south over the past few months. More than 60 foreign soldiers and scores of Afghan civilians and security forces have also been killed in combat