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NATO, Afghans Oust Taliban From Southern Town


NATO, Afghans Oust Taliban from Southern Town

Afghan and NATO troops conducted clean up operations Tuesday in the southern town of Musa Qala - a day after ejecting Taliban militants who controlled the area for 10 months.

A spokesman for the Afghan Defense Ministry Zahir Azimi says troops are strengthening their positions inside the town in Helmand province, the center of Afghanistan's booming opium trade.

The spokesman says three other districts in Helmand remain under Taliban control. The ministry says dozens of Taliban were killed in two days of fighting.

The Taliban confirms its retreat from Musa Qala - but calls it a strategic maneuver.

More than 6,000 Afghan and NATO soldiers are part of the operation - begun last week - to restore civilian rule in the town.

Taliban militants overran Musa Qala in February after British troops made a controversial decision to withdraw and hand over security to local elders.

ENDS

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