Afghan-NATO operation launched near Kandahar leaves 56 Taliban dead

More than 1,000 Afghan and Canadian NATO troops backed by helicopter gun-ships killed 56 Taliban fighters Thursday, June 19, 23 Wednesday, at the outset of a big operation to root hundreds of insurgents from an area from which they threatened to capture Kandahar.
Two Afghan officers were also killed, as the force pushed into the southern Arghandab region where insurgents have taken over several villages. Some were escapees from last week’s jailbreak in Kandahar, Afghanistan’s second largest city, which was a Taliban stronghold before the war. The insurgent dead included “local and foreign terrorists,” including Pakistanis, according to the Afghan defense ministry.
In the southern Lashkar Gah region, four British soldiers were killed Wednesday when their Land Rover ran over an anti-tank mine. The Ministry of Defense in London disclosed the first British female soldier to die in action in Afghanistan was among the dead. She was a member of the Intelligence Corps, while the three men were Special Forces reservists on a reconnaissance mission.

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