88 Militants, Six Afghan Police Killed in Helmand Clashes

In multiple attacks across Afghanistan’s restive Helmand Province, Afghan and coalition forces reportedly killed 88 militants. Six Afghan police also died in the conflict. As is often the case, Taliban forces disputed the toll, claiming they had killed 12 police and soldiers in their attacks.

One of the largest attacks occurred when Taliban forces attacked several police posts in the provincial capital of Lashkar Gah, which led to the deaths of the six police and 18 of the militants. It was the second Taliban attempt to capture the city in recent days, as hundreds of insurgents launched a surprise attack over the weekend, during which NATO air strikes killed over 60 Taliban.

The Taliban have had a growing presence in Helmand Province in the recent months, leading to a massive anti-insurgency offensive in late August which killed hundreds.

The province is also the center of Britain’s military presence in Afghanistan, a presence which Brigadier Mark Carleton-Smith has argued in favor of expanding dramatically in recent weeks. But Britain’s presence and influence have caused problems with Afghan President Hamid Karzai, who accused the British government of interference in the selection of the provincial governor. President Karzai blamed the British meddling for the growing violence there.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.