Foreign-Afghan Forces Kill 63 Insurgents: Interior Ministry
Monday, 05 July 2010

Afghan police, backed by US-led troops, have killed dozens of insurgents and seized several tons of illegal drugs in an operation in southern Helmand province, the interior ministry said on Sunday.

The two-day operation took place in the Desho district of Helmand, the key drug-producing region of Afghanistan, which is the world's leading supplier of heroin. The province is a bastion of Taliban insurgents being targeted by US-led forces.

New Interior Minister Besmillah Mohammadi said in a statement the operation, in which the security forces killed 63 insurgents and seized more than 16 tons of drugs, was a "big achievement."

The ministry gave no further details and did not say if there were any casualties among Afghan and US soldiers.

The Taliban could not be reached immediately for comment.

Violence in Afghanistan has reached record levels this year despite the presence of some 150,000 foreign troops and more than 100,000 Afghan soldiers and police.

New US and NATO forces commander General David Petraeus formally took command of the war against the growing insurgency at a ceremony earlier on Sunday at International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) headquarters in Kabul.

More than 100 foreign troops died in Afghanistan last month, the biggest foreign death toll since the overthrow of the Taliban in 2001.


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