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April 23, 2007

Report: 200 Taliban Fighters Surrounded In Village; Coalition Forces Demand Surrender Or Face Assault

Trapped like rats.

Why the offer to allow them to surrender? It's not required by the rules of law, and killing them -- or at least most of them -- would be far preferrable.

KANDAHAR, Afghanistan - Afghan forces have trapped up to 200 Taliban fighters in a southern village, possibly including the militia's military commander, demanding they surrender or come under attack, Afghan officials said Monday.

Afghan police and government officials said the suspected Taliban fighters were surrounded as they gathered for a meeting in the mountain village of Keshay in Uruzgan province on Saturday.

Provincial police chief Gen. Mohammad Qasim Khan said
NATO troops were also involved in the siege, but NATO spokeswoman Lt. Col. Angela Billings said she had no such information.

Khan told The Associated Press that Mullah Dadullah, a close aide to Taliban supreme leader Mullah Omar, and other regional Taliban commanders were at the meeting when the village was surrounded. The security forces were still positioned around the village on Monday, he said....

Abdul Hadi Khalid, the deputy interior minister for security, told a security commission in parliament on Monday that it was "possible that Mullah Dadullah is among" those who were attending the meeting. He said Afghan officials had demanded that the Taliban surrender or face military action. He did not mention any deadline for negotiations.

...

Killing or capturing Dadullah would be a major victory for the Afghan government and its foreign backers. A NATO airstrike killed senior Taliban commander Mullah Akhtar Mohammad Osmani in southern Helmand province in December.

Thanks to JackStraw.


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