Afghanistan: June 23, 2005

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In several days of fighting, American warplanes, and Afghan troops, chased several dozen Taliban from a town in southern Afghanistan, found their camp and attacked it. Some 76 Taliban were killed, and another 30 were captured, including several leaders. A dozen police and soldiers were killed, and a few Americans wounded. About 400 Afghan police and troops were involved, plus a few dozen American troops. American bombers and attack helicopters did most of the damage at the Taliban camp the Taliban were trying to reach. There are believed to be several hundred Taliban gunmen in the hills outside Kandahar, and the police and aircraft continue to search for them. The Taliban tactics have resulted in some successful attacks on towns, but the police quick reaction tactics have caused considerable casualties on the enemy. In the last three months, nearly 400 Taliban fighters have been killed, as groups of them roamed around southern Afghanistan, attacking government offices, the police and army bases.  Many of these Taliban fighters come from Pushtun tribes in Pakistan, which still support the Taliban. Many of the Afghan Taliban have made peace with the government. At the same time, 29 American and 39 Afghan troops (and police) have died, along with 125 civilians.

Over six million Afghans fled the country during the Russian occupation in the 1980s. Around 3.5 million refugees have returned back in the last three years. In the last year,  more than 700,000 have returned. Only about two million Afghans remain in exile, about 55 percent of them in Iran, the rest in Pakistan.  

 

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