February 6th, 2010
11:41 AM ET

Taliban members killed in southern Afghanistan

At least 16 Taliban members were killed during an Afghan/NATO-led military operation in southern Afghanistan, a local official told CNN on Saturday.

The operation started Friday night in Babji village of volatile Helmand province - the region where U.S. and British forces are gearing up for a major push against militants.

Abdul Satar Merzakwal, Helmand's deputy governor, said the purpose of the mission was mine-clearing.

Read more about the violence in Helmand

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