21 Taliban rebels killed in Afghanistan

July 27th, 2008 - 2:21 pm ICT by IANS  

A file-photo of Taliban
Kabul, July 27 (Xinhua) At least 21 Taliban rebels were killed early Sunday in a joint operation of the Afghan army and the NATO-led international forces in eastern Afghanistan’s Khost province, an Afghan army officer said. “A group of 30 insurgents crossed the border in an attempt to target government interest in Spera district but Afghan troops with the international forces’ air support killed 21 rebels on the spot,” Colonel Mohammad Israr said.

Nine insurgents had fled the area, he added.

Close to the border with Pakistan, Spera has often been the scene of hostilities between the government troops and the militants.

Kabul accuses Pakistan of harbouring Taliban insurgents in its lawless tribal belt in the northwest close to the Afghan border while Islamabad rejects the claim as groundless.

Meantime, a police officer in the area, who did not want to be identified, said a mistaken air raid on a police checkpoint during the operation claimed the lives of six policemen.

There was no immediate official comment on the incident.

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