Vol. 4 Num 213 Wed. December 31, 2003  
Front Page

US winds down post-war Afghan operation

US-led forces have ended their largest post-war operation in Afghanistan saying they have reduced the threat from militants during a key constitutional debate in Kabul.

A US military statement Tuesday made no mention of the deaths of 15 children in a series of botched raids around the start of "Operation Avalanche," in which 2,000 troops fanned out across southern and eastern provinces.

The level of attacks by remnants of the ousted Taliban and its militant allies dropped during three weeks of the operation, but it did not prevent deadly raids in the south and east or a suicide bomb in Kabul killing five security officials.

The statement said the operation had ensured the constitutional loya jirga, or Grand Assembly, was not disrupted and that the opening of a resurfaced highway between Kabul and Kandahar was not delayed.