KANDAHAR, Afghanistan (Reuters) – Several dozen Taliban guerrillas were killed in an air strike by U.S.-led troops in southern Afghanistan, a provincial official said on Thursday.
The strike on Wednesday was called in after Taliban fighters ambushed Afghan forces in Shah Joy district in Zabul province on the main highway linking the capital with Kandahar in the south, the country’s second city.
There were no casualties among the Afghan forces in the ambush, deputy provincial governor Gulab Shah Alikhail said.
“The Taliban bodies lie at the site of the fighting and in addition to 35 deaths, the Taliban also lost ammunition, some vehicles and motorcycles,” Alikhail told Reuters.
The Taliban are largely active in the south and east, bordering Pakistan.
U.S.-led troops and Taliban members could not be contacted immediately for comment about the incident, part of the rising violence in recent weeks, following the bloodiest fighting last year since the Taliban’s ouster in 2001.
Several hundred civilians, scores of Taliban, dozens of Afghan forces, some aid workers and nearly 30 foreign troops have died in Afghanistan already this year