Wednesday, May 24, 2006
Afghanistan Update: We're Losing This War Too.
UK aircraft catches fire while landing, no casualties reported
(CNN) -- At least 29 people have been killed in the latest bloodshed in the escalating conflict in southern Afghanistan, according to the U.S.-led coalition.
The coalition command in Kabul said Wednesday that 24 insurgents, four Afghan National Army soldiers and one Afghan National Police officer were killed late Tuesday in the Tarin Kowt District of Uruzgan province.
This six-hour fight began "when a joint combat patrol of Afghan and coalition forces returned fire against several enemy fighters who were hiding in a compound shooting at them."
The troops responded "with heavy machine gun fire and forced the attackers to retreat. Enemy fighters then attempted to reinforce with additional militants from two nearby compounds."
Six Afghan soldiers and three Afghan police were wounded.
Heavy fighting between troops and Taliban-aligned fighters has claimed dozens of lives in recent weeks.
Afghan President Hamid Karzai has called for an investigation into reports of the deaths of 16 civilians killed while apparently being used as human shields during Monday's fighting in Kandahar province. (Full story)
Dozens of Taliban fighters were killed in the fighting, according to the U.S. military.
Fighting this week in Afghanistan has been among the most intense since the U.S. invasion more than four years ago, with more than 300 people reported killed since last Wednesday.
Meanwhile, there were reports that a British military aircraft caught fire Wednesday while landing in the southern Afghan province of Helmand.
The UK's Ministry of Defence confirmed to CNN that a "C-130 Hercules plane was involved in an incident on landing outside Lashkar Gah in Afghanistan."
"First reports suggest there were no UK casualties," the ministry said.