South Asia News, November 10, 2009
TV footage shows Taliban with US ammunition in Afghanistan
Al-Jazeera news channel showed Taliban insurgents handling weapons and ammunition, including mines with US markings on them.
Footage showing weapons and ammunition, including mines with US markings on them. (Still image from Al-Jazeera News)
A US soldier was killed by a roadside bomb in southern Afghanistan on Tuesday, while television footage showed Taliban insurgents sorting and transporting what appeared to be US military ammunition sized by militants in two remote outposts in October.
The US soldier was killed in a roadside bombing in southern Afghanistan on Tuesday, the US military said in a statement without giving more details.
At least 460 international troops, more than half of them US soldiers, have been killed in the Afghanistan conflict this year, according to ICasualties.org, an independent website that tracks military casualties in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The search continues for two US soldiers who went missing nearly a week ago during a logistic resupply mission in the western province of Badghis, a US military spokesman said Tuesday.
Meanwhile, footage broadcast Tuesday by the Al-Jazeera news channel showed Taliban insurgents handling weapons and ammunition, including mines with US markings on them.
The television channel reported that Taliban said they seized the weapons from two US outposts in the eastern province of Nuristan, where a battle on October 3 left eight US soldiers and three Afghan troops dead.
The attack was one of the deadliest incidents for US troops since they deployed to Afghanistan in late 2001.
Nathan Gallahan, a spokesman for NATO and the US-led military joint command centre, said that the military had no way to verify the authenticity of the report. He said the TV report was 'inconclusive' and the militants could have got the ammunition from other locations.
Gallahan said the two US military outposts were not overrun by Taliban in the October attack and that all the 'sensitive items' were accounted for when the outposts were shut down.
Following the attack, the NATO military in Afghanistan said that those posts in Nuristan were on the list of remote bases that were not worth running based on the alliance's new strategy.
As part of new strategy to protect Afghan civilians, the top NATO commander in Afghanistan, US general Stanley McChrystal, ordered the troops to close down remote military posts and instead focus on more populated areas.
Meanwhile, the NATO-led international forces said Tuesday their troops seized 250 tons of suspected bomb-making-materials in the southern province of Kandahar and detained 15 suspected militants in connection with the materials.
The operation jointly conducted by NATO and Afghan police on Sunday resulted in the discovery of 5,000 bags of fertilizer, which is used by insurgents to make explosives for roadside bombs.
Taliban militants, who were forced from power in late 2001 in a US-led military invasion, rely heavily on the use of roadside bomb attacks as part of their campaign aimed at toppling the Western-backed Afghan government.
More than 100,000 international troops are currently stationed in Afghanistan.
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