Afghan, coalition forces kill over 20 Taliban(Lead)

August 20th, 2008 - 4:55 pm ICT by IANS  

Kabul, Aug 20 (DPA) Afghan and US-led coalition forces killed more than 20 militants, including foreign fighters, in two incidents in southeast Afghanistan, officials said Wednesday.Taliban militants attacked construction company workers Wednesday in the Alishir district of Khost province, provincial Governor Arsala Jamal said.

“Ten Taliban militants were killed when Afghan and US military forces arrived at the scene and clashed with the attackers,” he said.

The latest bloodshed in Khost came a day after 10 suicide bombers were killed by US and Afghan soldiers after they tried to enter a US military base in the province. In another attack against the same base, 10 Afghan civilians were killed and 13 were wounded Monday in a suicide car bombing.

Meanwhile, more than 10 militants, including foreign fighters, were killed and at least 10 were wounded Tuesday night when a coalition aircraft bombed Taliban positions in Paktia province, said Esmatuallah Alizai, provincial police chief.

“We had intelligence that militants had gathered in a valley in Aleemkhel village in Zormat district,” he said, adding, “Coalition forces bombed their position and killed more than 10 militants, including Arab and Chechen fighters.

Police recovered the bodies of militants and a rebel commander, named Toofan, was among the dead, Alizai said.

Taliban militants have stepped up their attacks against Afghan and international forces in recent weeks. Ten French soldiers were killed Tuesday in a Taliban attack east of Kabul.

More than 3,000 people - mostly insurgents but also including about 1,000 civilians and more than 170 international soldiers - have been killed so far this year.

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