Fighting erupts in Afghanistan (Lead)

July 13th, 2008 - 6:32 pm ICT by IANS  

Kabul, July 13 (DPA) The International Security Assistance Forces (ISAF) and the Afghan National Army (ANA) Sunday were involved in heavy fighting with insurgents in Dara-I-Pech district of eastern Afghan province of Kunar even as 24 people were killed in a suicide attack in the south. “The fighting began at about 4:30 am (0100 GMT) today,” the ISAF headquarters said in an official press release Sunday.

“Insurgents have been firing with small arms, machine guns, rocket-propelled grenades and mortars using homes, shops and the mosque in the village of Wanat for cover. The combined ISAF and ANA forces responded with small arms, machine guns, mortars, artillery, close air support and helicopters,” the ISAF officials said.

There had been casualties on both sides, but ISAF refrained from releasing any numbers as the fighting was ongoing.

In southern Helmand province Sunday, 20 civilians and four police officers were killed Sunday in a suicide attack on a market in the southern Afghanistan province of Uruzgan, police said.

Some 40 people - most of them children and shopkeepers - were wounded when the bomber blew himself up in a marketplace in Deh Rawud district of Uruzgan, provincial police chief Jumal Gul Hemat said. The bomber also destroyed around nine shops, he added.

The incident came a day after a teenager blew himself up near an Afghan National Army (ANA) camp in the southern province of Helmand, killing two soldiers and a child.

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