World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search


Afghan, NATO Forces Kill 50+ Taliban In South

By Daniel Schearf

Afghan, NATO Forces Kill More than 50 Taliban in South

Afghanistan's Defense Ministry says Afghan and NATO forces have killed more than 50 Taliban fighters after they fled from the southern Afghan town of Musa Qala. Afghan and NATO forces re-took the town after months of Taliban control, but a NATO spokesman says they will likely still face resistance from the Taliban.

The Defense Ministry says Afghan military forces, backed up by NATO air support, killed the Taliban fighters during a two-day battle in Sangin, a town just south of Musa Qala.

The Taliban were attempting a counter-attack from Sangin after thousands of Afghan and NATO soldiers forced them to flee Musa Qala this week during several days of heavy fighting.

Major Charles Anthony is deputy spokesman for the NATO-led International Security Assistance Forces in Afghanistan. He says even though the Taliban's counter-attack failed, the area is not yet fully secure and more fighting is likely.

"We believe there will be continued pockets of resistance by Taliban in Musa Qala," he said. "We have met a few small pockets of resistance, but clearly the situation has stabilized for the most part. Clearly most of the Taliban fled Musa Qala for other areas including Sangin."

Musa Qala and Sangin are in Afghanistan's southern province of Helmand, which produces half the world's opium supply.

The Taliban had controlled Musa Qala since February after British forces turned security over to local elders in a controversial deal that quickly fell apart.

Musa Qala was the only major town controlled by the Taliban and was a center of heroin production. Its recovery is a symbolic victory for the still developing Afghan army and for stretched NATO forces.

But the Islamic militant group still controls other parts of Helmand and continues to launch guerilla and suicide attacks. These have helped make this year the bloodiest in Afghanistan, since the overthrow of the Taliban in 2001.

An estimated 6,000 people have been killed in the past year of fighting.

The offensive to take back Musa Qala began as British Prime Minister Gordon Brown visited Afghanistan last week. He promised more support for Afghan security and economic development.

U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates also visited Afghanistan last week. He told the U.S. Congress on Tuesday that a European envoy to Afghanistan would soon be appointed to oversee aid and reconstruction efforts.

Gates said NATO should provide more troops in Afghanistan to deal with the rising violence.

Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Admiral Michael Mullen also told Congress the U.S. military was stretched because of operations in Iraq.

The United States has 26,000 troops in Afghanistan and about half of them are part of NATO's 40,000-member force. There are 160,000 U.S. soldiers in Iraq.


SEE: Latest World News | Top World News | World Digest | Archives | RSS

© Scoop Media

World Headlines


UN Agency: Thousands Flee Fresh Clashes In Central African Republic

Recent fighting between government forces and rebels in northern Central African Republic (CAR) has forced more than 2,000 refugees into neighboring Chad over the past week, the UN refugee agency (UNHCR) said on Tuesday. According to the agency, ... More>>

UN Chief: World On The Verge Of Climate ‘Abyss’, As Temperature Rise Continues

The Earth’s temperature continues to rise unabated, with 2020 being one of the three warmest years on record, as extreme weather events combine with the COVID-19 pandemic, impacting millions. According to the World Meteorological Organization’s ... More>>

Covid: 250 Groups Urge WTO Chief To Ditch Pharma-Friendly Approach And Embrace Vaccine Patent Waiver

by Jake Johnson, staff writer An international coalition of 250 civil society groups on Tuesday urged the head of the World Trade Organization to embrace a temporary suspension of coronavirus vaccine-related patents, warning against pursuit of a voluntary ... More>>

Focus On: UN SDGs

C40: UN Secretary-General's Remarks To Meeting With Leading Mayors Supported By Cities

UN Secretary-General's remarks to Meeting with Leading Mayors Supported by C40 Cities: “Advancing a Carbon-Neutral, Resilient Recovery for Cities and Nations” 16 April 2021 Thank you for joining me today, and for your commitment and leadership. Cities ... More>>

Awake At Night: S3-Episode 21: There Is Hope

Brazzaville visit to CSI Pilote du Diabete with Health workers at a local government clinic. 2018 - Photo: ©CSI/Dr. Soumya Swaminathan 'When it comes to a pandemic, it really needs global collaboration and solidarity because the pathogens and viruses More>>

UN: Growing Calls For Revamping Development Financing To Ensure Sustainable Global Recovery From COVID-19 Pandemic

Forum to highlight new initiatives to tackle inequalities exacerbated by pandemic With many economies reeling as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, and as inequalities continue to widen, world leaders will discuss options to unlock concrete investments ... More>>