The U.S. military says Afghan and U.S.-led coalition troops have killed
at least 35 insurgents in two days of ground fighting and air strikes
in southern Afghanistan.
A military statement says the clashes
erupted Friday when the joint patrol was ambushed in the Kajaki
district of Helmand province. U.S. officials say 20 insurgents were
killed after troops returned fire and called for air support.
Saturday, U.S. officials said joint forces killed another 15 militants
during the raid on a compound reportedly used for making weapons and
bombs in Kajaki district.
Elsewhere in southern Afghanistan,
NATO says one of its soldiers was killed in a bomb blast Saturday. The
alliance did not release details of the bombing or the nationality of
In a separate operation on Friday, the U.S.
military says Afghan troops, with the help of U.S. coalition forces,
captured a Taliban commander responsible for facilitating suicide
bombings and roadside bombs in the Lagharah Valley of Khost Province,
south of Kabul.
Southern Afghanistan is the center of a growing
Taliban-led insurgency, fueled in part by the illicit opium trade from
poppy harvests in Helmand.
The Obama administration has
announced a revised strategy to fight militants in Afghanistan and
neighboring Pakistan. The new plan includes sending thousands of
additional troops, as well as more money to train Afghan police and
develop tribal areas.
Some information for this report was provided by Reuters.