More than three dozen Taliban killed in Afghan combat: US (Lead)

August 16th, 2008 - 4:16 pm ICT by IANS  

A file-photo of Taliban
Kabul, Aug 16 (DPA) The US military claimed Saturday to have killed more than three dozen Taliban militants in southern Afghanistan, and an unspecified number of others in the north-eastern region. A military statement said joint Afghan and coalition forces were attacked by groups of Taliban militants in the southern region.

The combined forces responded by small-arms’ fire and close air support and killed “more than three dozen militants over two days of fierce fighting,” the statement said, but did not give any specific details of casualties.

A woman and a child were also wounded during an airstrike and were treated by the coalition medics, it said.

In another incident in north-eastern province of Kapisa, an unspecified number of insurgents were killed in Tag Aab district Friday, a separate US military statement said.

The operation targeted a Taliban commander, who was responsible for smuggling foreign fighters into Afghanistan and facilitating roadside attacks against the Afghan and international forces, it said.

During the combat, an Afghan woman was also wounded and was taken to military hospital for treatment, it said. No coalition forces or Afghan troops were killed or wounded during the operations, the military claimed.

Due to remoteness of the areas where fighting takes place, it is difficult to verify independently the death tolls claimed by the military sources.

Afghan military analysts believe that many dead male civilians, who get caught in the crossfire during the military engagements, are reported as suspected insurgents.

Two NATO-led soldiers were also killed when insurgents attacked their patrol in eastern Afghanistan, the alliance said.

The soldiers died from combat wounds, NATO forces said in a statement issued late Friday night.

It did not disclose the nationalities of the deceased soldiers, but most of the troops serving in eastern region of the country are US soldiers.

More than 160 international soldiers have killed in Afghanistan so far this year. The violence has also claimed the lives of more than 2,600 people, with most of them insurgents.

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