2 soldiers, 16 Taliban killed in Afghanistan | world | Hindustan Times
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2 soldiers, 16 Taliban killed in Afghanistan

world Updated: Jul 26, 2009 17:41 IST
Two soldiers

Two Afghan army soldiers were killed in a roadside bomb attack in eastern Afghanistan, while Afghan troops backed by international forces killed 16 insurgents in the same region, officials said on Sunday.

The Afghan soldiers were blown up in their vehicle as they were travelling in Barmel district of south-eastern Paktika province Saturday, the defence ministry said in a statement.

Three other soldiers were wounded in the blast and were immediately evacuated to an army hospital, where their condition was reported to be stable, it said.

Meanwhile, Taliban militants fired several rockets at an Afghan army base in Barg-e-Matal district of eastern Nuristan province Saturday, causing no casualties among the troops, a separate army statement said.

The soldiers with support from the international forces pounded the insurgents' positions with heavy artillery fire, killing 16 of them and wounding several others, it said.

Barg-e-Matal district has been a scene for heavy clashes between the Afghan government forces and Taliban after hundreds of militants overran the district earlier this month. Afghan and NATO forces recaptured the district, forcing the militants to abandon the city and station around the mountainous district.

With less than a month to the country's presidential elections in Aug 20, fighters with the Islamist extremist Taliban have increased their attacks in eastern region.

Afghan security forces killed seven Taliban fighters after the militants, wearing suicide vests and carrying automatic weapons and rocket propelled grenades, attacked several government buildings in eastern Khost city on Saturday. Three Afghan police and 14 civilians were wounded in the attacks.

Thousands of US, Canadian and British soldiers have been taking part in major anti-Taliban assaults in southern region, where the rebels are most active.