U.S. troops, Afghan police launch operation to patrol Taliban stronghold

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Kandahar, May 23(ANI): U.S. military and Afghan national police commanders have sort out a plan called 'Operation Kokaran' to patrol Kandahar's Taliban stronghold.

Operation Kokaran was named for the neighborhood where the Taliban have assassinated government officials and built infiltration routes, and through the operation the armed forces aim to clear out insurgents, build up local governance and bring in reconstruction projects.

U.S. officials admit that it is the first time civilian aid and reconstruction teams have taken part in conceiving and planning a military clearing operation.

However, insurgents did hit back to ruin their operation and launched a rocket, mortar and ground attack on the main base used by foreign troops at Kandahar's air field a few miles away from Kokaran.

According to reports, the explosions wounded several troops and civilian workers.

"From the explosions I could hear overhead - it was probably fragmentation from whatever the initial rockets hit," The Globe and Mail quoted Major Kelly, an operations officer for the Canadian Military's National Support Element, as saying.

"It was shrapnel, bits of building, I'm not quite sure what it was, but you could hear like three pieces fly over and it's as close as I've heard them fly over. It was loud enough to make you really duck down and say, 'Whoa, that was pretty close'," he added.

At least five rockets and mortars were fired at the airbase, but no insurgents entered the base, the International Security Assistance Force said in a statement. (ANI)

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