U.S. forces kill five Taliban after rebels attacked Afghan checkpoint
Friday, September 24th 2004, 11:15 am
By: News On 6
KANDAHAR, Afghanistan (AP) _ U.S. troops and helicopter gunships killed five suspected Taliban rebels Monday, hours after militants attacked Afghan army troops in southern Afghanistan, a provincial governor said.
The Taliban fighters attacked a checkpoint of Afghanistan's fledging national army at midnight in the area of Thor Nasar in Deh Rawood district, 105 miles north of Kandahar, said Jan Mohammed Khan, governor of Uruzgan province.
Army forces fought back, and that the attackers fled after wounding four soldiers, he said.
``On our request, U.S. forces and helicopter gunships went to the area and killed five Taliban after tracing them,'' he said, adding that 20 Taliban fighters were involved in the violence and that five of them were killed.
``The bodies of these five Taliban are with us,'' he said.
Mohammed said the Taliban attacked the army checkpoint to disrupt preparations for the country's Oct. 9 presidential elections and ``to create fears in the mind and hearts of the people.''
``We will not allow Taliban or any other anybody to do it,'' he said.
Uruzgan was a stronghold of the Taliban government before it was ousted in U.S.-led operations launched in late 2001 because of the government's harboring of al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden.
The United States leads a coalition of 18,000 forces, which have been hunting for terrorist suspects in Afghanistan. Remaining Taliban fighters have recently stepped up attacks against coalition forces and the Afghan army.