The Times has published a gallery of photos chronicling the recent ANA / NATO offensive to clear Taliban forces from the Arghandab district in Kandahar province, which had been taken by the Taliban following a successful operation to free several hundred captured insurgents from Kandahar prison.
Afghan and NATO forces are clearing Taleban militants from a
strategic group of villages in Arghandab district near their
former stronghold of Kandahar (Allauddin Khan/AP)
Some of the Taleban fighters are said to have been former prisoners
who escaped during a recent night raid on Kandahar prison, possibly
the largest jail break in the world. Up to 400 Taleban fighters are
thought to have been among the 1,100 inmates who fled after two
suicide bombers blasted through the walls (Ismail Sameem/Reuters)
The Arghandab district of Kandahar province is also the location
of many opium poppy fields. The production of poppies in
Afghanistan has hit record levels this year, and is thought
to fund much of he Taleban operation (AP).
View all 11 images here.