24 militants killed in Afghanistan (Lead)

September 7th, 2008 - 5:18 pm ICT by IANS  

Kabul, Sep 7 (DPA) Afghan and coalition forces killed at least 24 Taliban militants in clashes and airstrike in eastern and southern parts of the country, officials said Sunday.Twelve Taliban militants were killed in a US-led coalition airstrike in Sabari district of south-eastern province of Khost Saturday, Arsala Jamal, provincial governor said.

He said the combined forces targeted a compound where they had intelligence information that militants had gathered.

US military also confirmed the air raid in a statement issued Sunday, saying the operation targeted a Haqqani network militant wanted for conducting and coordinating direct and suicide attacks in Sabari District.

More than 10 insurgents were killed during the operation, and seven others were detained, the statement said.

At least 12 other militants were killed in two separate clashes in volatile southern province of Helmand Saturday, Mohammad Hussain Andewal, provincial police chief said.

He said two rebels were killed in Nawa district of the province, and more than 10 others were killed during a five-hour combat in Nad Ali district.

Helmand and other southern provinces of Kandahar, Zabul and Uruzgan have borne the brunt of Taliban-led insurgency since the radical Islamic regime was ousted by the US invasion in 2001.

The violence so far this year has killed more than 3,800 people, mostly insurgents.

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