We are making progress:

More than 70 Taliban fighters were killed in an American-led offensive in the mountains of southern Afghanistan, local commanders said yesterday.

At least 21 armed supporters of the hardline regime died in a single engagement as US Marines sought to reverse the deteriorating security situation in the wild borderlands.

The fighting began as marines backed by combat aircraft and helicopters approached a suspected ambush site in Daychopan district, in the southern province of Zabul, 185 miles south-west of Kabul.