Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Taliban Takeover Villages - Major Battle Looms on Outskirts of Afghan’s Second Largest City, Kandahar

Taliban Takeover Villages -
Major Battle Looms on Outskirts of
Afghan’s Second Largest City, Kandahar

, June 17, 2008...
* CBSNews.com brings us this report early this Tuesday morning and it starts off like this... Afghan military officials and Taliban militants say they are preparing for a major battle on the outskirts of Kandahar, Afghanistan's second largest city... Government officials said Tuesday that the Taliban was destroying bridges and planting mines in villages outside Kandahar, the capital of a southern province of the same name... A local resident in the Arghandab district of Kandahar province told CBS News Tuesday that he could see hundreds of Taliban militants entrenching on the west side of the river which divides the district... Mohammed Khan said groups of 20 or 30 militants had occupied every mosque along the river - of which there are dozens...
Read the full report HERE
* The Canadian Press website brings us this report...
Canadian troops and Afghan troops prepared for battle Tuesday against hundreds of Taliban rebels who have seized control of several villages outside Kandahar city and are threatening to kill anyone who collaborates with NATO or government forces... Hundreds of families are reported to have fled villages next to the provincial capital, abandoning farms in the middle of the harvest season...
Read the rest of this report at link below...
Battle with Canadian troops looms as Taliban seize villages near Kandahar
* UPI.com has another take on the story and they report it like this...
Taliban village takeover reports unfounded

Map courtesy of CENTCOM


Claims of Taliban Gains 'Way Overblown'
Pentagon Spokesman Says
, June 17, 2008

Reports that suggest the Taliban have gained a footing in Afghanistan's Kandahar province are "way overblown," a Pentagon spokesman said today.

Press Secretary Geoff Morrell told reporters at a news conference that although an increased Taliban presence has been detected in the province, patrols conducted by Afghan National Police and coalition forces "found no evidence that militants control the area."

Press reports from the region said the Taliban had taken seven villages in the area and were poised for an attack on the city of Kandahar. "While in the area, coalition forces moved freely and met no resistance," Morrell said. "Recent reports of militant control in the area appear to be unfounded."

Traditionally, summer is the fighting season in Afghanistan, Morrell said, and this is precisely why Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates deployed 3,700 U.S. Marines to the area. In Regional Command South's area of operations, Marines are blunting an attempt by the Taliban to exert some control over that region.

The press secretary stated that no coalition official is worried that Kandahar is about to fall to the Taliban. "Quite to the contrary, they are confident that they have the forces necessary to secure RC South," Morrell said. "There are going to be attempts by the Taliban to put up some resistance."

In the wake of a prison break by hundreds of Taliban fighters over the weekend, NATO's International Security Assistance Force is moving a battalion to the area to deal with the aftermath. U.S. aviation assets are assisting the movement and are helping forces round up those who escaped, Morrell said.

Gates noted during a NATO defense ministers conference last week in Brussels, Belgium, that coalition deaths in Afghanistan exceeded those in Iraq for the month of May. Morrell said the secretary implored his fellow defense ministers to send more forces to Afghanistan.

"Afghanistan is the No. 1 priority for NATO, and yet we have to put our money where our mouths are to make sure we have adequate forces to do the job for that country," Morrell said.

Morrell also discussed an incident last week that allegedly resulted in the deaths of 11 Pakistani Frontier Corps soldiers. DoD officials said there has been an agreement in principle about the investigation, and that general officers from Pakistan, Afghanistan and the United States will cooperate.

"As we said last week, every indication we have still is that this was a legitimate attack by U.S. forces acting in self-defense," Morrell said. "All procedures and regulations and coordination had been followed."

Still, Gates said last week that if the investigation suggests the need for changes, U.S. officials will make them.
From a news article by DoD’s American Forces Press Service - Written by Jim Garamone

Wednesday Updates:

* DailyTimes.com.pk has this report out today...
Helicopters and fighter jets aided NATO and Afghan forces to keep up an offensive against the Taliban in villages outside Kandahar on Wednesday, killing 36 militants...
Read the story at link below...
Anti-Taliban offensive near Kandahar

* China View website reports it this way...
Over 3 dozens of Taliban militants killed in S. Afghanistan

I’ll update this story in another post, as needed...

No comments: