Afghan troops kill scores of rebels

Dec. 18, 2007 at 9:27 AM

KABUL, Afghanistan, Dec. 18 (UPI) -- Scores of Taliban rebels have been eliminated from their stronghold in Afghanistan's southern region by advancing government troops.

The Xinhua news agency reported Afghan troops supported by NATO-led forces have been pushing ahead since they evicted the insurgents from the strategically important Musa Qala district in Helmand province early last week.

In a latest anti-militants strike, the report quoted the interior ministry as saying 20 rebels were killed Sunday in Jalai district of neighboring Kandahar province, the birthplace of the Taliban. Provincial Police Chief Syed Aqa Saqib told Xinhua the mop-up operation against the militants began last week.

Similar advances were reported in Zabul, Helmand and Uruzgan provinces where Taliban insurgency has caused much damage in recent years.

Since the recapture of Musa Qala, Afghan troops have killed more than 100 rebels, Xinhua reported, quoting Defense Ministry spokesman Gen. Zahir Azimi.

The militants may aim their attention toward the capital Kabul, the report said quoting analysts.

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