The FINANCIAL — KABUL, Around 60 militants belonging to the radical Islamic Taliban movement have been killed in Afghanistan in the past 24 hours, a spokesman for the country's Defense Ministry said on December 1.
The spokesman said that 33 militants were killed in the southern Helmand province, and that others were eliminated in military operations in the eastern provinces of Kandahar and Farah, as well as the western Ghazni province. In addition, 17 militants were arrested in the eastern province of Pactiv.
An Islamic Party of Afghanistan warlord who may have be responsible for an attack which left 10 French soldiers dead in August was also killed in an operation in the Sarobi district about 50 kilometers (30 miles) east of the capital Kabul.
Three civilians were killed and six injured in an attack by a suicide bomber on a German embassy convoy in the Afghani capital on Sunday. The embassy staff were travelling in an armored vehicle and escaped without injury.
Taliban militants attacked on Sunday an ISAF convoy in the central Wardak province, but no casualties among foreign troops have been reported.
An ISAF military base near the city of Meydan Shahr in the same province also came under rocket fire. Again, no casualties have been reported.
This year has seen the worst rise in violence in Afghanistan since a U.S.-led international force overthrew the hard-line Islamic Taliban movement in 2001. U.S. president-elect Barack Obama has pledged to boost the U.S. troop presence in the war-ravaged country, and has also said he will order a step up of attacks on militants on the Pakistan-Afghanistan border, including raids into Pakistan.
" If the United States has Al Qaeda, bin Laden, top-level lieutenants in our sights," said Obama during a presidential debate, "and Pakistan is unable or unwilling to act, then we should take them out."
His comments followed a speech in August, 2007 during which he said that the U.S. under his presidency "would send troops into Pakistan to hunt down terrorists even without local permission if warranted."