Security Forces Prepare for Operation Against Taliban in Southern AfghanistanBy VOA News
16 June 2008

Afghan and foreign forces are preparing to respond to the threat of hundreds of Taliban rebels who are gathering in the southern province of Kandahar.

Officials say about 500 Taliban fighters moved into Arghandab district, not far from Kandahar city, Monday.

NATO civilian spokesman Mark Laity said NATO and Afghan troops are redeploying in Kandahar because a prison break Friday put more militants in the region.

The Taliban fighters are believed to be among the nearly 1,200 inmates who broke out of a Kandahar prison Friday.

Afghan and foreign forces have been battling Taliban insurgents since the U.S.-led coalition pushed the Taliban government from power in 2001.

British soldiers with ISAF are seen in the Garmser district during a visit to Helmand, 15 Jun 2008Britain announced Monday that it will send 230 more troops to Afghanistan to help the fight. That will put 8,030 British troops in Afghanistan by early 2009.

NATO has about 40,000 troops in the country. The United States has contributed the most troops, and has called on other alliance members for an increased commitment to the war in Afghanistan.

The U.S.-led coalition said Monday that 35 insurgents were killed in the past few days in southern Afghanistan.

The coalition said Afghan and foreign soldiers killed 20 militants Sunday after they attacked a joint patrol in Zabul province. The coalition said air strikes killed another 15 militants in Helmand province Saturday.

voa news