In the largest independent action to date Afghanistan Armed Forces killed 69 Taliban in Helmand, demonstrating not only their independence from ISAF forces, but also their effectiveness.
More from YahooÂ via AP:
The Afghan army and police carried out a joint operation in the Gereshk district of Helmand province Thursday morning, but NATO-led troops were not involved in the operations, said Gen. Mohammad Zahir Azimi, the Defense Ministry spokesman.
Azimi on Friday said 49 Taliban bodies had been found in total, up from a death toll he gave on Thursday of 28. Azimi estimated the overall militant death toll at 69, saying the Taliban had buried 10 bodies and taken 10 bodies from the battlefield. Seven police were killed.
“They showed the capacity and capability of Afghanistan’s National Army, without the help of foreign troops,” Azimi said.
Lt. Col. Angela Billings, a spokeswoman for NATO’s International Security Assistance Force, confirmed that ISAF troops did not participate in the operation, which was part of a major push against a rising threat from the Taliban inspired insurgency in the country’s south.
This is indeed encouraging. It bodes ill for the Taliban Spring offensive as well.