Over 40 rebels dead in Afghan fighting
US-led coalition troops and Afghan security forces destroyed an 'extremist safe haven' and killed more than 40 rebels.india Updated: Jul 10, 2006 19:24 IST
US-led coalition troops and Afghan security forces destroyed an "extremist safe haven" and killed more than 40 rebels on Monday in southern Afghanistan, the coalition said.
An Afghan soldier was also killed and three coalition troops wounded in the operation in troubled Uruzgan province, it said in a statement.
"Afghan national security forces and coalition troops conducted a raid on a known extremist compound July 10, killing more than 40 extremists in the Tarin Kowt district of Uruzgan province," it said.
A purported Taliban spokesman confirmed the fighting but said only five Taliban were killed.
Around 50 civilians were also killed in coalition bombing, Yousuf Ahmadi said. The coalition said it had no reports of Afghan civilians being hurt. The Taliban often issue exaggerated casualty figures to the media.
The security forces had opened fire on the rebels hiding in a compound in a village near the Uruzgan capital Tarin Kowt after they had come under attack with small arms fire and rocket propelled grenades, the statement said.
Operation Mountain Lion was launched in mid-May weeks after a surge in attacks by the Taliban, whom military officials admit are better organised and more determined than ever, despite international attempts to end their insurgency.
Since then about 800 people, mostly rebels, have been killed in the violence, which is mainly in areas along the Pakistani border.