More than 100 Taliban Dead in Helmand Province

Afghanistan’s southwest province of Helmand was home earlier this week to a violent clash between the Taliban and the Afghan military. Taliban forces numbering more than 800 have laid siege to Afghan army checkpoints throughout the region, which is also known as the birthplace of the Taliban and one of the least secure regions in the country. The clashes, which began five days ago, have claimed the lives of more than 100 militants, 35 civilians and 21 Afghan troops. Troops in the region face a dilemma as they are left without air support and have limited mobility throughout the extremist-controlled region. Many roads and popular transport vias are under the control of Taliban forces who have lined the roads with IEDs in order to impede the passage of ground transportation and light artillery.

Officials in the region point to drug trafficking as the catalyst of this week’s attacks. Taliban forces have traditionally controlled a drug trade made possible by the fertile ground in Helmand province, and have sought to make more routes available for transport and trade of opium and other poppy derivitaves. The cost of the conflict is still undecided, though human rights watchers have pointed to the impact the attacks have had on families in the region. More than 2,500 have been displaced in Helmand, where infrastructure necessary to house and feed thousands of displaced does not exist.

News Briefs: 

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