At least 22, including both rebels and government troops, are dead in fresh fighting with presumed Taliban insurgents in Afghanistan. The bloodiest clash was in Helmand province, where troops were ambushed on night patrol. "Our mujahideen killed the soldiers in an ambush," Taliban spokesman Abdul Latif Hakimi told Reuters by telephone from an undisclosed location. At least seven presumed rebels were also killed this week in a US helicopter raid in Khost after five Afghan soldiers were killed in an ambush. (Reuters, Feb. 25)
Meanwhile, in the remote Saghar district of impoverished Ghor province, aid is being air-dropped in too little and too late to save scores of residents who have died of cold and hunger in what is being called the worst winter since Soviet times. "Every day three or four people have died, most of them children. There are no medical facilities and there is no doctor," one resident told AFP.