Civilian, 28 rebels killed in Afghanistan
AFP - Monday, November 24
KABUL (AFP) - - US-led forces in Afghanistan said Sunday they had killed an Afghan civilian in a battle that also left two militants dead, as 26 other Taliban-linked rebels were reported killed in separate clashes.
Another four civilians, at least two of them female, were wounded in the battle in the southern province of Zabul on Thursday, the US-led coalition said in a statement.
"Coalition forces killed two armed militants, one female civilian, and provided medical care to four more civilians during an operation early Thursday morning," it said, without identifying the casualties.
The wounded were paid compensation, the coalition force said.
Civilians are often caught up in Afghanistan's conflict as international and Afghan troops battle extremist insurgents, including those from the Taliban who were in government between 1996 and 2001.
Afghan and coalition forces meanwhile killed 17 insurgents in air strikes in the southern province of Kandahar late Saturday, another statement said.
The operation was launched against a "known insurgent safe haven," it said.
It appeared to be the same operation that was reported separately by Afghan police, who said 11 Taliban militants were killed.
And the government of the central province of Ghazni said its forces had thwarted a Taliban attack on the Ab Band district administration centre late Saturday, killing eight gunmen.
The NATO-led coalition also announced Sunday it had killed a "senior Taliban commander" in a targeted operation last week in southern Helmand province, a stronghold of the militants.
The fighter was linked to attacks in the Garmser district, it said in a statement. The district is an entry point for rebel supplies and reinforcements from across the border with Pakistan.
An international-funded campaign to fight the Taliban-led insurgency has failed to quell the violence, with calls for more foreign troops to be sent to Afghanistan and a greater focus on militant sanctuaries in Pakistan.
US president-elect Barack Obama assured Afghan leader Hamid Karzai in a telephone call late Saturday that the "war on terror" and security in Afghanistan were among his priorities, a statement from his office said.
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