Several Taliban said killed in Afghan assault
An assessment of the battle damage had not yet determined how many were killed in the operation in the Gereshk district.Updated: Feb 12, 2007, 13:51 IST
Afghan and international troops killed several Taliban fighters on Monday in a raid targeting a militant leader linked to the extremist movement's chief, the United States-led coalition said.
An assessment of the battle damage had not yet determined how many "terrorists" were killed in the operation in the Gereshk district of the southern province of Helmand, it said in a statement.
A group of Taliban fighters kicked off the battle by firing a rocket-propelled grenade at Afghan and coalition forces who then returned fire, it said.
The assault was based on "substantial information provided about a Taliban senior leader operating in the neighbouring province of Kandahar".
The militant had ties with the fugitive Taliban chief Mullah Mohammad Omar and with Mohammad Osmani, one of the movement's top four leaders who was killed in an air strike in December shortly after arriving from Pakistan.
The statement did not say if the targeted man was among the dead.
An Afghan soldier involved in the operation was wounded when a vehicle overturned, it said.
Helmand, where most of a British deployment of more than 5,000 troops is based, has seen a jump in insurgency-linked violence in the past weeks.
Taliban fighters are holding the town of Musa Qala which they captured nearly a fortnight ago.
Helmand governor Assadullah Wafa said on Sunday that about 700 foreign militants, whom he linked to Al-Qaeda, had infiltrated the province.