Taliban Unleash Major Assault on Kandahar
For the second day in a row, Afghan Security Forces have clashed with militants in Kandahar City, Afghanistan. The Taliban unleashed a major assault on the city Saturday, vowing to gain control of the city. 25 people have died in the recent firefights.
For weeks the public has been told that the war in Afghanistan is progressing well and that the transition to Afghan Security Forces would commence this summer, with withdrawal of of some U.S./NATO Forces in July 2011. The transition is to be completed by 2014.
The U.S. Administrations strategy included a surge of 30,000 troops, which are mostly located in Southern Afganistan. The Obama Administration has also intensified Drone attacks into the tribal areas of Pakistan.
A week ago, U.S. President Obama, announced that Operation Geronimo had taken place into a compound and that Osama Bin Laden had been killed. There was jubilation throughout the country, with crowds cheering USA USA outside the White House and in Time Square in New York. Sadly the killing of Osama Bin Ladin did not end the war on terror or the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Libya is considered by many a stalemate and there is a good chance that Libya will be divided with Qadaffi still in charge of Western Libya, despite constant air attacks by NATO.
The Taliban, which announced the commencement of their spring offensive the day prior to the Bin Ladin Operation, assaulted government buildings in Kandahar yesterday, but Afghan Security Forces, supported by NATO forces, were able to able to secure government buildings that had been attacked. Fighting had stopped overnight, but a firefight erupted again when Afghan Security Forces started and operation to clear the city's Kandahar Hotel. It is not known how many insurgents are held up there.
According to Afghan officials, 23 insurgents and 2 Afghan Security personnel have been killed and 40 people have been wounded. The Governor of Kandahar says that the situation is under control, however the Interior Ministry contradicts this saying that they had not gained total control.
Most of the insurgents are said to be from the prisoners that escaped through a tunnel. The Taliban operation was apparently planned over several months and is not related to the killing of Osama Bin Laden.
The Taliban claim that more than 100 insurgents are part of the operation. NATO, while it doesn't have a confirmed estimate, believes that 40-60 insurgents took part.
Despite the relative calm over winter, it is obvious that the Taliban are not about to lay down and play dead. So much for the Bin Ladin factor, no Mission Accomplished yet.
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Redwater, Alberta, Canada