Afghans Launch Assault on Taliban

Kandahar is next militant target
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 18, 2008 8:27 AM CDT
Afghan National Army soldiers patrol on the outskirts of Kandahar city, southern Afghanistan, Wednesday, June 18, 2008.   (AP Photo/Allauddin Khan)
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(Newser) – Afghan and NATO troops launched a huge offensive against the Taliban today, Reuters reports, starting with an air and ground assault on a valley in southern Afghanistan. Bolstered with hundreds of fighters freed in last week’s prison break, the Taliban has taken several villages in Arghandab, and has its sights on nearby Kandahar city—where NATO is bolstering security in response.

Twenty guerrillas were killed in the raid, as were two Afghans. NATO and Afghan forces hope to flush out those militants, who have reportedly planted mines to deter such assaults. “From a strategic military point of view, Arghandab is a very good place for the Taliban,” said one provincial council member. “It’s covered with trees and gardens. They can easily hide from airstrikes.”