Afghan forces backed by NATO troops have launched an offensive to flush out Taleban insurgents from their stronghold in southern Afghanistan. The numbers involved are said to be “substantial” but there are no reports so far of any casualties. A Taliban spokesman said militants had set their sights on Kandahar city itself, after taking control of several villages in Arghandab on the northern outskirts. It comes after hundreds of insurgents were freed on Friday when Kandahar’s main jail was stormed. Checkpoints have been set up on key access roads.
Meanwhile, Britain’s Defence Ministry has confirmed the deaths of four soldiers in an unrelated incident in Helmand Province yesterday. The group were killed when a roadside bomb exploded near their armoured vehicle during an operation east of Lashkar Gah.