Militants killed, 22 others arrested in S Afghanistan

By Xinhua,

Kabul : Several militants were killed and 22 others were detained Saturday during a U.S.-led Coalition forces’ operation for mopping up insurgents in southern Afghan province of Helmand, said a Coalition statement released here on Sunday.

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Coalition forces conducted a search assisting several compounds in Reg district of Helmand when they engaged the militants in small arms combat, the statement said.

“Twenty-two militants who were conducting anti-government operations were also detained,” it said.

Several AK-47’s, ammunition vests, ammunition, mines, artillery shells, IED materials and grenades were found on the compounds and destroyed or removed on the spot, it further added.

The NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) backed by 2,300-strong U.S. Marine unit have launched new operation on Tuesday in Helmand province to sweep out anti-government insurgents from the area.

More than 60,000 NATO-led ISAF and the U.S.-led Coalition forces have been serving in Afghanistan to boost security in the post-Taliban nation.

Conflicts and Taliban-related violence have left over 450 people dead so far this year in war-torn Afghanistan, where Taliban militants recently have vowed to launch the “Spring offensive” to intensify their guerrilla-style attacks on national army and foreign troops.