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Afghans: Offensive Against Taliban 'To End Soon'

Wednesday, 27 Oct 2010 07:35 AM

KABUL — The Afghan defence ministry said Wednesday that a major military operation against the Taliban in their southern stronghold was coming to an end, claiming that victory was in sight.

The insurgency in Afghanistan is fiercest in the southern province of Kandahar, where thousands of US-led troops and Afghan forces have stepped up operations since the spring in a bid to reclaim the Taliban stronghold.

General Mohammad Zahir Azimi, the Afghan defence ministry spokesman, said Wednesday that the assault was set to be wrapped up "in weeks."

"The Kandahar operation is in its last stages," Azimi told a news conference in Kabul, saying that rebels had left most areas without fighting.

"The enemy preferred not to fight. Mostly we were cleaning the area of mines," he added.

Asked whether the Taliban were defeated in the area, he said: "Well, when an area is cleaned of the enemy it means they're defeated."

He refused to give details, saying a full report of the operation including casualties will be released at the end of the offensive.

The Taliban said earlier this month on its website that military operations against them in the south have had little impact on their capabilities.

The Taliban insurgency is now at its most lethal, killing at least 603 foreign troops so far this year and thousands of Afghan civilians since the 2001 US-led invasion brought down their Islamist regime.

More than 150,000 international forces are stationed in the troubled nation, where US President Barack Obama has said he wants to start drawing down American forces next July.

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KABUL — The Afghan defence ministry said Wednesday that a major military operation against the Taliban in their southern stronghold was coming to an end, claiming that victory was in sight.
afghanistan taliban strikes
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2010-35-27
Wednesday, 27 Oct 2010 07:35 AM
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