100 militants threatening secure elections killed in Afghanistan

U.S. and Afghan government forces have killed more than 100 militants over the past few weeks in aggressive operations aimed at ensuring security for an election next month, the U.S. military said on Monday.

U.S. forces have in recent months been suffering their worst casualty rate in Afghanistan since arriving in late 2001 to force the Taliban from power.

As Pravda.ru informed earlier Monday, U.S. Marines and Afghan forces killed more than 40 suspected militants Monday in an operation against insurgents who had inflicted the deadliest blow to American forces since the Taliban's ouster.

"ANA and coalition forces continue to aggressively establish enduring security," U.S. spokeswoman Lieutenant Cindy Moore told a briefing in Kabul, referring to the U.S.-trained Afghan National Army.

About 65 militants have been killed in 25 clashes in Zabul province in the south over the past week, while about 40 were killed in fighting in Kunar province in the east over the last several weeks, she said.

The United States heads a 20,000 strong international force in Afghanistan fighting Taliban and al-Qaida militants and hunting for their leaders, according to Reuters.

Another 10,000 NATO-led peacekeepers are also helping with security for the September 18 parliamentary election.

About 1,000 people, most of them Taliban fighters, have been killed in clashes, ambushes and bomb blasts this year, raising concern about the election, particularly in the most-troubled south and east.

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