70 Taliban rebels killed in Afghanistan (Lead)

July 27th, 2008 - 3:06 pm ICT by IANS  

A file-photo of Taliban
Kabul, July 27 (Xinhua) Seventy Taliban militants were confirmed killed in a joint operation of the Afghan army and the NATO-led international forces Sunday in eastern Afghanistan’s Khost province. “In the successful air strikes and clash with the rebels in Spera district early this morning 70 enemies were killed,” provincial governor Arsalla Jamal told reporters.

The militants crossed the border from Pakistan’s tribal area of North Waziristan and stormed the district headquarters at 2.30 a.m. Sunday in which the headquarters had been slightly damaged, Jamal said.

Earlier, Afghan military officer Mohammad Israr put the number of Taliban casualties at 21.

Two police constables were killed and four others wounded in the firefight, the governor said.

Afghan officials often accuse Pakistan of supporting the Taliban and describe the tribal area as a safe haven for militants, but Islamabad refutes the allegations as baseless.

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