British soldiers in Afghanistan say they have staged a major air
assault on a Taliban stronghold in the southern Helmand province.
NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) says hundreds
of troops parachuted into a town north of Lashkar Gah. ISAF says the
more than 500 British troops involved in the operation repulsed
insurgent counterattacks and killed several militants.
spokesman tells VOA the goal of the operation is to secure river and
canal crossings in order to establish a permanent ISAF presence in the
area. Commanders plan to hand over the territory to Afghan police
within the next few weeks.
Meanwhile, at least 22 people have been killed in other attacks around Afghanistan.
say a roadside bomb in northern Jowzjan province killed three Afghan
employees of a non-profit group working with the United Nations, called
the Development and Humanitarian Services for Afghanistan. The
employees were on the way to a shelter project site.
Defense Ministry says three German soldiers were killed in a firefight
with insurgents near the northern city of Kunduz.
A provincial police chief says three police officers died in a blast near the Kandahar.
central Afghanistan, officials say a suicide bomber killed two Afghan
civilians in an attack on a convoy of international troops.
violence has occurred as U.S. National Security Adviser General James
Jones visits Afghanistan to follow up on a U.S. government plan to help
stabilize Afghanistan ahead of the country's August presidential
elections. Jones has met with U.S. General Stanley McChrystal, who is
the new head of U.S. and NATO troops in Afghanistan.
President Barack Obama has ordered the deployment of 21,000 more troops
and trainers to Afghanistan to fight the worsening Taliban insurgency
and help with reconstruction.
Despite the arrival of more
foreign troops, violence in the past year has risen to the highest
levels since the U.S.-led invasion in late 2001.
Afghan defense officials say two Afghan soldiers and nine militants
were killed Monday in a clash in the southwestern province of Farah.
Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.