'This will give them a good lesson,' Afghan governor said; operation expected to wrap up Friday
Afghanistan - Afghan authorities say hundreds of Taliban fighters have been killed or wounded after being routed in a battle begun Wednesday for a strategic area just northwest of Kandahar City that insurgents took over at the start of the week.Quote has been trimmed
All that remained by Thursday was the mopping up of scattered small pockets of resistance, local political leaders and Afghan and Canadian military commanders said from a mountainside perch overlooking the entire battlefield in a wide river valley.
"This will give them (the Taliban) a good lesson," Kandahar Gov. Asadullah Khalid said. Khalid said residents who had fled the area when Taliban infiltrated from the mountains to the north will be allowed to return in the days ahead. The operation was expected to wrap up Friday.
Afghan authorities have to clear out landmines and roadside bombs planted by the insurgents, as well as fix destroyed bridges and culverts. The fighting interrupted the important harvest period in the agriculturally rich valley, and some farmers were already passing through road checkpoints Thursday to get back to the their crops and livestock.
Military officials did not want to divulge any numbers, but Khalid said no civilians were killed and two Afghan National Army soldiers were the only deaths among the more than 1,000...