U.S., Afghan Forces Hunt Taliban After Clashes

U.S. and Afghan troops searched villages and caves for Taliban fugitives in the southern province of Zabul Tuesday after up to 50 fighters were killed in a chase involving U.S. jets, a police official said.

Small groups of U.S. special forces and 450 Afghan troops launched a joint operation in the Dai Chopan district Monday after officials said about 600 Taliban were in the area, the biggest concentration since the regime’s fall in 2001. “There is occasional sporadic shelling today,” Juma Khan, police chief of Dai Chopan, told Reuters. “The fighting has come to an end and we are conducting house-to-house, village-to-village and cave-to-cave searches for Taliban.” He said he believed the majority of Taliban fighters had fled into neighboring districts, adding that U.S. fighter jets were supporting the sweep. Officials said the Taliban had lost up to 50 fighters in the action, but Khalid Pashtun, director of foreign affairs in the southwest of the country, put the death toll at 15. Full Story

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