#AceWorldNews – AFGHANISTAN (Helmand Province) – June 25 – More than 800 Taliban insurgents have launched a major offensive in southern Afghanistan to try to gain territory recently vacated by US troops.
Officials said Wednesday that 40 civilians were killed in five days of fighting. About 100 Taliban have been killed, AFP reported, citing the Interior Ministry.
The Taliban launched its summer offensive in the middle of May and has ramped up attacks across the country, a major concern for the government, as most foreign troops leave by the end of the year.
Helmand province is a major route for the transit of opium and some districts are controlled by drug dealers and the Taliban.
Attaullah Afghan, a tribal elder in Sangin, said the Taliban attacks aimed to try and open a route to the border to smuggle narcotics.