U.S. Military Says Offensive Has Disrupted Taliban
July 18, 2006 -- A senior U.S. military commander says an anti-insurgency campaign in southern Afghanistan has seriously disrupted Taliban fighters in the area.
Lieutenant Colonel Paul Fitzpatrick says Afghan and coalition forces have killed "numerous low and midlevel commanders," which the Taliban had used to intimidate people in the region.
Operation Mountain Thrust, which began in June, has involved more than 10,000 Afghan, British, Canadian, and U.S. troops.
Meanwhile, Afghan police say two of their officers were killed in an execution-style shooting in the southern part of Ghazni Province late on July 17.
The provincial police chief, General Tafsir Khan, says the officers were traveling on a remote road when they were stopped by Taliban fighters and shot dead.
A third officer escaped with injuries after a gun battle.
Afghan President Hamid Karzai (left) with Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf in Islamabad in October 2005 (epa)
ACROSS A DIFFICULT BORDER. The contested border between Pakistan and Afghanistan is some 2,500 kilometers long and runs through some of the most rugged, inhospitable territory on Earth. Controlling that border and preventing Taliban militants from using Pakistan as a staging ground for attacks in Afghanistan is an essential part of the U.S.-led international coalition's strategy for stabilizing Afghanistan. Officials in Kabul have been pointing their fingers at Pakistan for some time, accusing Islamabad or intelligence services of turning a blind eye to cross-border terrorism targeting the Afghan central government. Many observers remain convinced that much of the former Taliban regime's leadership -- along with leaders of Al-Qaeda -- are operating in the lawless Afghan-Pakistani border region.... (more)