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Taliban Attacks End Lull In Combat In Afghan Province Of Helmand

By Mohammad Stanekzai LASHKAR GAH, Afghanistan (Reuters) – Taliban insurgents attacked law checkpoints on the outskirts of Lashkar Gah, the principal metropolis of the southerly Afghan responsibility of Helmand early Sunday, close weeks of comparative tranquilize during the yearly opium crop. Helmand has been one of the master targets of the Taliban, which has strained governance protection forces to retire from respective districts and reduce round Lashkar Gah and the chief highway that runs done the responsibility. The approach in the Babaji arena of Lashkar Gah, during the betimes hours of the dawn, activate a three-hour gunbattle during which the Taliban aforesaid they overran two checkpoints, ruined an apc and captured a enceinte quantity of equipment.

Reports of casualties wide-ranging. Helmand captain Abdul Rahman Sarjang aforesaid 14 Taliban fighters were killed and another 22 hurt earlier the insurgents were goaded off, with quartet constabulary killed and another heptad hurt. The Taliban aforesaid 15 law, including a patrol commandant, were killed and respective others hurt, piece alone one Taliban champion was killed and another two hurt.

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Aft months of gravid combat in Helmand complete often of the overwinter, a calm in fight had been seen o’er the retiring few weeks, according to Afghan and NATO officials. Yet thither has been continued gravid active in over-the-counter parts of the nation including Kunduz in the far northerly, Uruzgan, which neighbours Helmand and the fundamental responsibility of Ghazni.

Brigadier Charles Cleveland, the principal spokesman for NATO’s Unhesitating Supporting deputation in Kabul, told reporters end workweek that many fighters had been operative in the Helmand opium fields, which allow one of the Taliban’s primary sources of income. Yet he aforesaid that the end of the one-year give glean in Helmand, which accounts for the biggest contribution of Afghanistan’s opium product, would belike trail to an gain in fight, mayhap as former as this hebdomad.

The insurgents, combat to rouse the Western-backed governing in Kabul, now ascendancy practically of the responsibility and get longsighted operated in Babaji, hardly to the northward of the core of Lashkar Gah. The decisiveness to clout surety forces backbone from districts in the northerly and gist of Helmand was proclaimed in February as a maneuver to contract force ahead launch attacks on the Taliban.

Withal yet thither has been petty preindication of the long-promised offense. "We are wellspring equipt and wellspring fain but we are wait for an club from the demurrer and internal ministries to onslaught the Taliban," Sarjang aforesaid. Afghan limited forces get launched approximately targeted operations and, in one attempt finish hebdomad, freed about 60 prisoners from a Taliban poky in Naw Zad dominion in the essence of the state. (Extra reportage by Mirwais Harooni; Penning by James Mackenzie; Redaction by Andrew Bolton)


Christie’S Fetes 250 Years In Business With Major British Art Sale

LONDON (Reuters) – From Joshua Reynolds to Lucian Freud, workings spanning various centuries of British art leave sink the malleus as office of a sale celebrating 250 days since auctioneer theater Christie’s was founded. The highlights are iii major workings, led by "Ib and her Economize", an insinuate 1992 portrayal by Freud of his fraught girl and her mate prevarication on a bed. The picture is estimated at round 18 zillion pounds. Connection it is Reynolds’ 1778 "Portrayal of Lucy Farsighted, Mrs George Hardinge", which has ne’er antecedently been publically offered purchasable and has been described as "one of the finest deeds by the artist to pertain the commercialise in a propagation".

Aforementioned to be in "singular" term, the portraiture is estimated at round 2-3 gazillion pounds. The tertiary major exercise is "Favourable Hours", multi-colored circa 1864 by Frederic Leighton, which goes to auctioneer first in 100 eld and is estimated at 3-5 trillion pounds. "All of the pictures are model of their eccentric," Orlando Shake, president of Christie’s UK, told Reuters. "I remember from a tone stand, they … all typify the periods they were created in." The deeds are set to continue go at Christie’s in New York and Hong Kong succeeding month earlier the June "Shaping British Art" sale, which volition be launched aboard an expo of British art workings handled by Christie’s. (Reportage by Alex Fraser and Marie-Louise Gumuchian, redaction by Ed Osmond)