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Afghan, NATO troops launch new operation in central Afghanistan
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Afghan troops and the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) have launched a joint operation against militants in central Afghan province of Ghazni, a local newspaper reported on Thursday.


The operation, featuring Afghan police, army and ISAF personnel, got under way Thursday morning in Taliban-infested Qarabagh district of Ghazni, the Outlook Afghanistan newspaper reported, quoting provincial police chief Alishah Ahmadzai.


"The sweep is aimed at clearing the troubled district of insurgents," Ahmadzai said.


But he would not say how many days the anti-Taliban operation would last.


In Qarabagh, where kidnappings and shootings have been on the increase, the current sweep followed two similar operations carried out by Afghan and ISAF troops during the last three months.


Currently some 55,000 international troops are fighting militants and securing peace in Afghanistan.


Taliban insurgency-related violence and attacks have claimed over 5,400 lives, mostly of insurgents, in the war-torn country so far this year.


(Xinhua News Agency November 1, 2007)

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