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October 31, 2007
Taliban Force Surrounded in Kandahar
Every time they come out of hiding in force and attempt to engage the US military in a stand up fight, they die.
That appears to be the fate of 250 Taliban fighters who are now surrounded in a small town just outside of Kandahar city:
The provincial police chief said the combined forces have killed some 50 Taliban in three days of fighting. Three police and one Afghan soldier have also died, Sayed Agha Saqib said. The biggest damage done by the Taliban this year has been in the number of suicide bombings that have been targeting civilians. So far, more than 5,300 have died this year - the largest number since the US invasion of 2001. And with President Musharraf apparently putting pressure on the Taliban in their sanctuaries in Pakistan by attacking the terrorists, some observers believe that more of these large scale firefights will be taking place as the Taliban and al-Qaeda are driven from Pakistan into Afghanistan.
"The people are fleeing because the Taliban are taking over civilian homes," Saqib said. "There have been no airstrikes. We are trying our best to attack those areas where there are no civilians, only Taliban." Saqib said 16 suspected Taliban have been arrested during the operation.
The fighters moved into the Arghandab district of Kandahar province this week, about two weeks after the death of a powerful tribal leader, Mullah Naqib, who had kept the Taliban militants out of his region.
"He was a good influence for his tribe. He was supporting the government," Saqib said. "After he died the Taliban were thinking they would go to Arghandab and cause trouble for Kandahar city. But now they're surrounded and they're in big trouble. We are capturing and killing them and I don't think it will cause any problem for Kandahar."