Saturday, June 25, 2005

Action in Afghanistan: Coalition forces find 76 terrorist bodies

Looks like things aren't going so well for the Taliban holdouts these days.

::::::::MIANA SHIEN, Afghanistan (AP) - Afghan forces scouring mountains in the country's south found the bodies of 76 suspected militants killed during a blistering barrage of their camps by Afghan and U.S. forces, the Defense Ministry said Saturday.

Meanwhile, Afghan government and U.S. military leaders met with tribal chiefs in a tent on a dusty plateau near the battlefield and urged them to help fight militants still holding out.

In all, a total of 178 militants have been killed and 56 suspected insurgents have been captured since Tuesday in some of the deadliest fighting since the fall of the Taliban four years ago, ministry spokesman Zahir Marad said.

"Our forces have collected the bodies of 76 more rebels from the battlefield," Marad said, adding that the corpses were scattered across a wide mountainous area in and around the Miana Shien district of Kandahar province.

The U.S. military's toll of insurgents killed was 56, but American spokesman Lt. Col. Jerry O'Hara said this did not make the government's figure necessarily wrong because Afghan forces had taken the lead in the operation and U.S.-led coalition troops were finding it hard to keep a tally of the dead.

Looks like the Afghanis are pretty serious about this democracy thing surviving.