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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Operation Anaconda Forces Pull Out

BAGRAM, Afghanistan -- All U.S. and Canadian forces have withdrawn from the eastern Shah-e-Kot Valley, where the biggest U.S.-led ground offensive of the war in Afghanistan took place earlier this month, a U.S. general said Tuesday.

Major General Frank L. Hagenbeck, the commander of all coalition troops in Afghanistan, said while Operation Anaconda was over, al-Qaida and Taliban troops would be actively pursued throughout Afghanistan.

"When we find pockets of resistance, we'll go after them," Hagenbeck said at Bagram air base north of Kabul.

Meanwhile, U.S. forces killed 16 fighters in a gun battle and captured 31 others at a military compound, officials in Washington said Monday. There was no indication that any were senior leaders of al-Qaida or the Taliban.

A team of U.S. Army Special Forces soldiers attacked a convoy of three vehicles Sunday about 45 miles southwest of the city of Gardez, killing 16 people believed to be al-Qaida fighters and wounding one. One other was detained.

In a separate incident shortly after the firefight, U.S. forces captured 31 suspected al-Qaida or Taliban fighters west of Kandahar in southern Afghanistan, officials in Washington said.

On Monday, Britain announced that it will send up to 1,700 troops to Afghanistan to help U.S. forces in future operations against al-Qaida and the Taliban.

British Defense Secretary Geoff Hoon said Britain will deploy a full infantry battle group in Afghanistan in its largest military deployment for combat operations since the Persian Gulf war.

Hoon said the United States had requested that Britain join future operations against al-Qaida and the Taliban in Afghanistan. The British troops will first go to Bagram and would be ready to begin offensive operations by mid-April.