Taliban Weekend Offensive Kills 65 Afghan Troops

Ambushes start major offensive into Helmand Province

The Taliban already controls a large portions of Helmand Province, and looks to have gained so more with a major offensive this weekend in Sangin Province. At least 65 Afghan soldiers were reported killed, and 38 others wounded.

The attacks started with the Taliban pushing into Sangin and hitting a number of security outposts. Such offensives are not unusual. This time, however, the rush of Afghan reinforcements that usually return the status quo were met and ambushed.

Between the offensive and the ambush, a local senator reported 65 troops were killed, and 48 of them were from the Afghan NAtional Army. This was as of Sunday evening, and he said fighting was still ongoing at the time.

Helmand is an extremely valuable province for the Taliban because of its ties to opium smuggling. Despite heavy commitment to try to keep the Taliban from taking the area, they have been making consistent gains and now control all but the capital district.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.