Attack on Taliban gathering kills 50

AP/NY Times:

A six-hour battle in southern Afghanistan left over 50 Taliban fighters killed or wounded, while a suicide bomber targeting a police patrol ended in the deaths of three civilians and an officer, officials said Monday.

Also in the south, a roadside bomb against a U.S.-led coalition convoy killed one soldier and wounded another, a coalition statement said. In the east, coalition forces raided a compound suspected of housing al-Qaida facilitators, killing several militants on Sunday, a coalition statement said.,

NATO-led troops and Afghan army soldiers launched an attack in Baluch village in Uruzgan province during a gathering of local Taliban on Sunday, said Juma Gul Himat, the provincial police chief.

''More than 50 enemies were killed or wounded'' and 13 others detained during the joint operation, a statement from Afghanistan's Defense Ministry said.

Maj. Charles Anthony, a spokesman for NATO's International Security Assistance Force, said that ''several dozen militants were killed'' in the clash.

''This was a well-led and well-coordinated engagement, with the Afghan National Army and ISAF working in conjunction with each other,'' Anthony said.

...

In the country's east, U.S.-led coalition forces raided a compound suspected of housing al-Qaida facilitators, killing several militants on Sunday, a coalition statement said.

The troops fired at the militants as they fled the compound in Asadabad district, in Kunar province, the statement said.

''Coalition forces engaged the militants outside the compound area with small-arms fire and accurate conventional munitions as well as engaging the hostile militants inside the compound with small-arms,'' the statement said. ''Several armed militants were killed during the engagements.''

Five suspected militants were also detained during the operation.

...

These battles suggest that Afghan and US and NATO forces clearly have the initiative, and as the recent battle in Helmand shows where 80 Taliban were killed, when the enemy attempts to take the initiative it results in his destruction. The violence meme is used by the AP reporters to indicate that the situation in Afghanistan may be deteriorating, but it is an illogical assertion since almost all of the violence is to the detriment of the enemy. Violence that results in the destruction of the enemy with minimal friendly casualties is a good thing and this story shows how misleading the violence metric can be.

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