12 Taliban rebels killed in Afghanistan (Lead)

December 7th, 2008 - 5:50 pm ICT by IANS  

TalibanKabul, Dec 7 (DPA) Twelve Taliban rebels were killed in clashes with the US-led coalition forces, officials said Sunday. Nine militants died in a clash with police in southern Afghanistan, while US troops killed three rebels and captured four others in the north.

A group of Taliban fighters attacked a police post in Geriskh district of Helmand province in the south Saturday night, Daoud Ahmadi, spokesman for the provincial governor said.

“The fighting lasted for two hours and as a result nine Taliban fighters were killed and seven others were wounded,” Ahamdi said adding that three police troopers were also wounded.

The clash took place in the same day as four Taliban militants were killed and four civilians were wounded in airstrikes by NATO-led
forces in Nad Ali district of the same province.

Helmand, the largest opium-producing province in the country, is also the main hub for Taliban activities. Afghan officials believe that foreign fighters are stationed in the province and often cross border to havens in Pakistan.

US-led troops killed three militants and detained four others during an operation that targeted Hezb-e-Islami group in north-eastern province of Kapisa Saturday, the US military said in
a statement.

The operation took place in Tagab district and targeted a rebel commander involved in moving weapons and foreign fighters into the region, it said.

Hezb-e-Islami is an associate group of Taliban militants, which is led by former mujahideen leader Gulbuddin Hekmatyar.

During the Taliban’s regime Hekmatyar escaped to Iran, but after the fall of their government in late 2001, he came to country and announced his allegiance to Taliban movement. He made the decision after his name appeared on the list of international terrorists.

Hekmatyar’s group along with Taliban insurgents has intensified their attacks on Afghan and international forces in recent months.

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