The southern Helmand Province is a center of Taliban activity (epa)
June 3, 2007 -- Afghanistan's Defense Ministry says some 60 Taliban fighters were drowned when their boat sank as they were attempting to cross the Helmand River.
Ministry spokesman General Mohammad Zahir Azimi said the militants were fleeing a fresh wave of attacks that were launched by Afghan government forces supported by NATO-led and U.S. troops.
The cause of the sinking was not immediately clear.
The Defense Ministry said on June 2 that 20 militants
were killed in an operation NATO, U.S. and Afghan forces launched this
week against the Taliban.
In other news, a NATO soldier and a translator were killed in an ambush on their convoy in eastern Afghanistan. Seven NATO troops were also wounded by small-arms fire and rocket-propelled grenades in the attack on June 2, according to an alliance statement.
The statement did not give the location of the ambush or the nationalities of the casualties.
Afghanistan has been the site of fierce battles between militants and NATO forces in the last several months, mostly in the country's south.
EYE OF A STORM:
Afghan officials first suggested that insurgents or terrorists were crossing the border from Pakistan in 2003. Relations have run hot and cold ever since. But the roots of the problem go back much further.
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