Amid reports of uneven al-Qaeda-Taliban strength in different parts of Afghanistan, two separate battles have resulted in killing approximately 165 Taliban. An ambush on a joint Coalition-Afghan patrol in northern Helmand province resulted in a day-long fight in which Coalition artillery and aerial attacks killed more than 100 enemy, with one Coalition soldier killed and four wounded. In another Taliiban attack in neighboring Uruzgan province, artillery and airstrikes were once again effectively employed, killing 65 of the 80-man enemy attacking force.
But there are growing concerns about NATO-member commitment to the mission in Afghanistan as well as concerns of growing al-Qaeda-Taliban strength in Uruzgan province in particular. Radio Netherlands, with reporters and sources on the ground there, reported that a surge in enemy strength is due primarily to the import of foreign fighters - though few will acknowledge officially - including battle-hardened and experienced Chechens. According to their report, "the presence of fighters from Pakistan and Bosnia is known beyond any doubt - in fact, prisoners have been taken from their ranks and handed over to the Afghan authorities. It is assumed that Chechen fighters are also active in Dihrawud district."
At the same time, an Afghan parliament member remarked that around the Kandahar birthplace of the Taliban they are proving to be 'weaker than last year' though still deadly. "The Taliban are much weaker than last year," said Habibullah Jan. "They can't stay and fight if they're confronted." They have been effectively confronted there primarily by Canadian and British troops.