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British Military Clear Taleban Base in Southern Afghanistan


The British military says it has cleared a Taleban base in the southern province of Helmand, following months of militant attacks.

The military said Monday the destroyed base in Kajaki consisted of 25 Taleban compounds. The operation is part of a drive to secure the area near a hydroelectric dam project so that engineers can bring it up to full power.

Elsewhere in Helmand, Afghan authorities and NATO-led troops have dropped leaflets into the southern town of Musa Qala, warning Taleban militants to leave or be forced out.

Taleban fighters stormed into the town last Thursday, overwhelming local police and temporarily taking tribal elders hostage.

NATO forces struck back Sunday, launching a precision air strike that killed Taleban commander Mullah Ghafour.

A NATO spokesman, Colonel Tom Collins, says Ghafour's death makes it hard for the insurgents to plan their next move.

However, the Taleban has declared that 2007 will be the bloodiest year for foreign troops since NATO and Afghan forces drove the Taleban from power in 2001.

A guerilla leader, Mullah Hayatullah Khan, said the Taleban is about to start war on the foreign forces.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and Reuters.

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