Over 120 Taliban militants killed in southern Afghanistan

18:00, March 04, 2010      

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More than 120 Taliban militants have been killed and 56 others captured since a major offensive against Taliban stronghold in Afghanistan's southern Helmand province was launched on Feb. 13, Defense Ministry spokesman Zahir Azimi said Thursday.

"The troops have killed over 120 rebels and captured 56 others, " Azimi told a joint press conference.

Azimi declined to give exact figure of Afghan and foreign forces' casualties, but more than 20 foreign soldiers have been reportedly killed since the operation Moshtarak or Together against Taliban in Marja and Nad Ali districts began.

Describing the operation as successful, Azimi said the reconstruction has begun with people returning to their homes and the troops building checkpoints to ensure security in Marja and Nad Ali districts where the Taliban insurgents have been cleared.

He admitted, however, that sporadic fighting and roadside bombing continued in parts of the districts.

Meanwhile, the spokesman of NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) Eric G. Trembly said that the improvised explosive devices (IED) still posed threat to the Afghan and U.S.- led foreign troops.

Some 15,000 Afghan and NATO-led troops including 5,000 U.S. Marines launched the biggest joint offensive with the objective to restore government control and begin reconstruction process in Taliban hub.

Source:Xinhua
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