Operation “Mountain Thrust” against the Taliban in Afghanistan continues and the US warns there is more fighting to come. Military experts say that as the operation advances into the area where the Afghan government does not have a presence, the troops will encounter resistance.
The offensive has been timed to coincide with the upcoming transfer of command in the South from the US-led coalition to a Nato security force. In recent days Paktika Province, which borders Pakistan, has experienced an upsurge in violence – last Sunday a rebel gun battle ended with 22 dead. “There’s going to be a lot of fighting, there is going to be a lot of activity but by the end of the summer you will have significantly more troops down there as Nato progresses into the area and the Taliban is ultimately going to lose in that area. They will never ever take Kabul, they will not topple this government,” said Colonel Tom Collins of the coalition forces. More than 90 Taliban fighters have been killed in recent days and more than 600 people have died in the past month. At least 10 coalition soldiers have been killed in combat since mid-May.