Taliban fighters 'killed' in battle

Defence ministry claims more fighters will have been killed in firefight south of the country.

    Afghanistan has been hit by a surge in violence over the past month [AFP]

    More Taliban fighters have reportedly been killed in a district that the anti-government group captured three days ago, a defence ministry spokesman said.

    Afghan soldiers backed by Nato ground and air support launched an offensive in the remote Ajristan district of central Afghanistan's Ghazni province, killing at least 15 fighters, during an operation to retake control of the area, an Afghan official said on Thursday.

    Ismail Jahangir, a government spokesman, said: "At least 15 Taliban have been killed and several others are wounded since [Wednesday]."

    The operation continued for a second day on Thursday, with the troops able to recapture the district headquarters compound but still fighting for wider control, Jahangir, a government spokesman said.

    The Nato-led International Security Assistance Force (Isaf) said: "The joint operations began with a co-ordinated air strike on Taliban fighters, inside Ajiristan. Several insurgents have been killed and wounded."

    Remote districts

    Ajiristan was previously captured by the Taliban in October 2007, and was retaken the following day when at least 300 security forces moved into the district centre.

    The Taliban have captured several mainly remote districts in the past but have not been able to retain hold of them for long, although there are a handful in the southern Helmand province, that security forces admit are in rebel control.

    The fighting in Afghanistan meanwhile continued to take its toll on international forces. In the latest loss, a British soldier was killed in southern Afghanistan, the UK defence ministry said on Wednesday.

    A ministry spokesman said no further details were immediately available.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    How different voting systems work around the world

    How different voting systems work around the world

    Nearly two billion voters in 52 countries around the world will head to the polls this year to elect their leaders.

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    Russian-Saudi relations could be very different today, if Stalin hadn't killed the Soviet ambassador to Saudi Arabia.

    The great plunder: Nepal's stolen treasures

    The great plunder: Nepal's stolen treasures

    How the art world's hunger for ancient artefacts is destroying a centuries-old culture. A journey across the Himalayas.