16 US Marines were reportedly killed, while landing at an airport near Kandahar, Afghanistan, the Pakistani press reported November 27. According to The Frontier Post newspaper, the Marines were killed in a clash with a Taliban unit, whose losses were not disclosed. US marines are still being air-lifted to that airport near Kandahar; while 1,000 US soldiers are already staying there. US helicopters destroyed a Taliban convoy, which comprised 15 vehicles and armoured personnel carriers, The Frontier Post reports. Talking to The Frontier Post, a Taliban government leader noted that more than 6,000 Talib soldiers had been killed since the beginning of the US military operation in Afghanistan. Meanwhile detachments under commanded of Pashtun military continue to hold the town of Takhat-Pul between Kandahar and the Pakistani border, thus severing all communication lines between Kandahar and Quetta. Fighting also continues near Malipul, which is located 20 km south of Takhat-Pul; the local Talib force is commanded by mullah Mohammad Rauf. Despite continued large-scale US air strikes, Kandahar's Taliban garrison intends to keep fighting till the last man. Among other things, this was disclosed by former Talib ambassador to Pakistan, mullah Abdul Salyam Zaif. In his words, the Taliban's spiritual leader Mullah Omar is still staying in Kandahar or its environs. Meanwhile contacts with arch-terrorist Osama bin Laden were lost 20 days ago.