There is only death, defeat, and humiliation for the Terrorists of Islam.
Kunduz, Afghanistan - Three pro-government militia troops and 29 Taliban militants were killed in a series of clashes in northern Afghanistan, a provincial governor said Saturday.
Afghan soldiers and US special forces clashed with a group of Taliban militants in the Archi district of Kunduz province on Friday night, killing 14 insurgents, Governor Mohammad Omar said.
Four suspects were detained by the combined forces, he said. Four other Taliban fighters and three pro-government militia forces were killed in combat in the Emam Saheb district on Friday, he added.
Nine other Taliban fighters were killed, including commander Mullah Selab and a Pakistani fighter, and more than a dozen others were injured in Chardarah district and Khewaja Ghar area, he said.
Violence is on the rise in the northern region, which has been relatively peaceful until about three years ago compared to the southern and eastern provinces, the Taliban's main power base.
The militants have now turned several districts in Kunduz and neighbouring Baghlan province into their main hub of activity in the north.
Seven German troops were killed and more than a dozen were injured in the past month in the two provinces. Around 4,500 German soldiers are stationed in the northern region, while 500 additional forces are expected to arrive in there in the coming months.
Omar said 1,200 extra US troops are expected to be deployed to Chardarah and Archi, the most volatile districts in Kunduz, where they are expected to build a new military base in May. He said 3,000 more US forces would arrive in the northern province of Balkh in summer.
With the deployment of additional NATO forces, a major offensive is planned in Kunduz and Baghlan provinces, the first large operation against militants in the north since the Taliban government's ouster in late 2001.
Currently there are more than 125,000 NATO troops in the country, and the total is set to rise to 150,000 by mid-year.
The US military and defence ministry has meanwhile confirmed that the attack that killed one of its soldiers at an army training base in eastern Kabul on Monday was caused by a suicide bombing.
Initially, the NATO military in Afghanistan said one of its soldiers was killed and several injured in an explosion at the base, while Afghan army officials also spoke of an explosion, which it said also killed one Afghan soldier and injured three.
The Pentagon, however, in a statement posted at its website on late Friday identified the deceased as Sergeant Robert J Barrett, 20, who died of 'injuries sustained when a suicide bomber attacked his unit.'
A spokesman for Afghan Defence Ministry in Kabul on Saturday said that the investigation into the incident was still ongoing.
Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid had claimed on Monday that the bomber, Abdul Qahar, a resident of the northern province of Kunduz, had carried out the attack, killing 10 Afghan and NATO soldiers.
Confirmation of the suicide bombing has raised concern about ability of Taliban fighters to penetrate military bases and carry out attacks against Afghan and NATO troops.
In December, a Jordanian double-agent detonated his explosives inside a US military base in eastern Afghanistan, killing seven employees of the US' Central Intelligence Agency and a Jordanian intelligence agent.
In another incident in November, a 'rogue' Afghan police officer opened fire on British soldiers inside a checkpoint in southern Helmand province, killing five British service members.
Soldiers from several NATO countries, mainly from the United States and Britain have been training Afghan army troops and police forces since 2002.
NATO countries plan to train up to 300,000 Afghan police and army forces by the summer of 2011, in a bid to transfer the security responsibility of the country to the indigenous forces.
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