Airstrike hits Afghan Taliban camp killing three
KABUL, Apr 25 (Reuters) An airstrike by U.S.-led forces has killed three Taliban fighters in southern Afghanistan, the U.S. military said today.
The attack yesterday targeted a meeting at a suspected Taliban camp in the Lashkar Gah area of Helmand province, the military said in a statement. There were no civilian casualties or damage to property observed during the operation.
The three fighters killed had launched numerous attacks on Afghan and U.S. forces and were also involved in financing ''terrorist activities'', the statement added.
The Taliban announced a spring offensive in March, although there had been an unusual level of militant activity in the winter months with the increasing use of suicide attacks.
The Taliban and its Islamist allies are active mostly in parts of southern and eastern Afghanistan.
Dozens of Afghan soldiers have been killed, along with 13 U.S. troops so far this year. On Saturday, a bomb killed four Canadian soldiers in Kandahar province.
The insurgency has run since a Taliban government was ousted by U.S.-backed forces in late 2001 after it had refused to hand over al Qaeda chief, Osama bin Laden, following the Sept. 11 attacks on the United States.
Although the insurgency has intensified, the United States plans to reduce its troop strength from 19,000 to 16,500 this year, while a NATO-led peacekeeping mission plans to deploy thousands more troops to fill the gap.
REUTERS SI SND1320