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7 Taliban rebels killed in Afghanistan

Afghanistan has this year seen the most intense violence since US-led forces drove the Taliban's radical Islamic government from power in 2001.

india Updated: Nov 24, 2006 17:48 IST
Reuters

US-led coalition troops clashed with Taliban insurgents in Afghanistan on Friday, killing seven of the militants, the US military said.

Afghanistan has this year seen the most intense violence since US-led forces drove the Taliban's radical Islamic government from power in 2001.

The level of violence has taken Afghanistan's allies by surprise but the fighting has eased off in recent weeks.

One soldier from the US-led coalition force was wounded in the battle on Friday in Kandahar province in the south which involved artillery, mortars and close air support, the US military said in a statement.

There were no casualties among civilians, it said. No Taliban official could be reached for comment.

Afghanistan's separate NATO force said one of its soldiers was killed and one wounded when militants fired a rocket at a NATO patrol in Ghazni province, to the southwest of the capital, Kabul, on Thursday. It did not give their nationalities.

More than 3,700 people have been killed in the violence this year, according to a recent government and UN report.

Most of the casualties have been militants but more than a quarter of them were civilians.

More than 150 foreign troops have also been killed, most of them American, British and Canadian.

A Taliban commander said this week their attacks had fallen off because of the onset of winter but he vowed a fresh offensive in the spring.

NATO says the level of violence has fallen because the Taliban suffered heavy losses.

About 40,000 foreign troops are in Afghanistan, about half of them American, supporting the government and trying to ensure security for reconstruction efforts.

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