The NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), with support from units of the Afghan National Army, has secured the area surrounding the Kajaki hydroelectric dam in southern Afghanistan after a threatened attack by Taliban militia.

According to reports from RFERL’s Radio Free Afghanistan, hundreds of insurgents had reportedly gathered in the project area early this week to attack the dam. The area was secured following a pre-dawn air strike yesterday, with a senior Taliban commander among the several insurgents killed.

The operation – named Operation Kryptonite – was necessary to allow repairs to the project’s power plant and accompanying transmission lines to go ahead. NATO-led forces have been conducting a number of other operations in the area over recent months to allow engineers to visit the site and begin reconstruction work.

Once work is complete, the plant, which has a capacity of 33MW, is expected to provide electricity to 1.8M people in the country.