U.S. warplanes and helicopters have
carried out more bombing of suspected Taleban hideouts in the mountains of southern
Afghanistan, where dozens of rebels have reportedly been killed in a week of
Hundreds of insurgents from the ousted Taleban government are reportedly
hiding in the mountains of Dai Chopan region in southern Zabul province. Afghan
troops have been trying to eliminate the rebels with the help of a U.S.-led
U.S. and allied jets and helicopter gun ships ran bombing raids Sunday, the
seventh day of the offensive. Reports say the aircraft carried out several
new strikes against several positions just before dawn on Sunday.
The Afghan Islamic Press, based in Pakistan, quotes a local military official
as saying more than 20 Taleban fighters were killed in the latest bombing.
He told the agency that Afghan forces have sealed all escape routes for the
trapped Taleban and expect them to surrender once they run out of water and
food. His claim could not be confirmed independently.
A U.S. military spokesman confirmed on Saturday that at least 33 rebels were
killed during the first three days of fighting.
In addition, U.S. officials say three soldiers fighting in the anti-Taleban
coalition force were injured Sunday in fighting in eastern Afghanistan. Several
militants were reported killed in the battle, in Paktika province.
Members of the Taleban and the al-Qaida terrorist network have been waging
a guerrilla war against the internationally backed government of President
Hamid Karzai. The insurgents have increased their attacks in recent weeks,
killing dozens of people.
The U.S.-led anti-terrorism coalition is hunting down these militants across
war-ravaged Afghanistan, while a separate multinational force headed by NATO
is maintaining security in the capital, Kabul.
Afghan officials also say that a grenade was thrown at the Indian consulate
in the eastern Afghan city of Jalalabad. The police say no one was injured
in the explosion, which occurred late Saturday.