Latest violence leave five Afghan soldiers, 12 Taliban dead

December 7th, 2008 - 11:49 pm ICT by IANS  

TalibanKabul, Dec 7 (DPA) Twelve Taliban militants were killed in clashes with police and US forces, while five Afghan soldiers lost their lives in roadside bomb attacks in Afghanistan, officials said Sunday.A group of Taliban fighters attacked a police post in Geriskh district of southern Helmand province 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,” Ahmadi said adding that three police forces 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 into Pakistan, where they say the militants have safe havens.

Four Afghan army soldiers were killed and two were wounded when their vehicle was struck by a roadside bomb in eastern province of Kunar Saturday, Afghan defence ministry said in a statement.

Another soldier was killed and one more was wounded in a similar attack in Gerishk district of Helmand province also on Saturday, the statement added.

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 on Saturday, the US military said.

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

Hezb-e-Islami is an associate group of Taliban militants, which is led by former mujahideen’s 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.

The Taliban-led violence have so far this year left more than 4,000 people - mostly insurgents, but including hundreds of Afghan and foreign forces - dead.

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