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Forces Target Bomb-Making Taliban in Afghanistan

The U.S. military says troops working with Afghan forces killed 11 militants in a night-time raid targeting a Taliban bombmaker.

A military statement Friday says one militant was also captured during the operation in the Lashkar Gar district of Helmand province.

U.S. officials say a village elder told them that residents were forced to give the Taliban shelter.

In another operation also in Helmand province, the Afghan Interior Ministry says five militants were killed, including one who was responsible for a bomb blast last week that killed an Afghan lawmaker, Mohammad Khan.

Southern Afghanistan, and Helmand province in particular, has become the center of an increasingly active Taliban insurgency.

Also Thursday, the first 240 recruits for a new Afghan community policing force completed training.

The U.S.-backed "public protection force" is meant to boost local security forces. The program has been compared to the "Awakening Councils" in Iraq, which have been credited in the fight against al-Qaida.