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17 insurgents killed in Afghanistan: NATO

world Updated: Nov 27, 2010 14:22 IST

NATO-led forces and Afghan troops killed at least 17 suspected militants in operations in southern and eastern Afghanistan, the alliance said on Saturday.

The most deadly operation was conducted on Friday night by Afghan and foreign soldiers in the Sherzad district of the eastern province of Nangarhar to find a Taliban leader after they received a tip about his location, the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) said in a statement.

The joint forces were attacked by suspected insurgents upon arrival at the targeted area, it said, adding that the forces responded and "killed more than 15 armed insurgents".

"Further inspection of the engagement area confirmed all of the insurgents were armed with multiple automatic weapons, rocket-propelled grenade launchers and rounds, and hand grenades," the ISAF said.

No soldiers or civilians were injured, it said.

Taliban militants control the bulk of Sherzad, which lies on the border with Pakistan. The militants have safe havens inside the Pakistani tribal area across the border, from which they plot attacks on coalition forces in Afghanistan, according to Afghan and NATO officials.

Two suspected insurgents were killed and several were detained Friday by Afghan and ISAF forces after they used indirect fire in more than "17 unsuccessful attempts" to target the Afghan and ISAF forces in the southern province of Helmand, the ISAF said.

Violence is on the rise across Afghanistan despite the onset of winter, which traditionally witnesses a lull in fighting.

Both Taliban officials and ISAF forces vowed to continue operations during the winter.