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35 militants killed in latest purge

world Updated: Jul 20, 2009 02:47 IST

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Afghan commandos backed by foreign forces killed 35 militants in southern Afghanistan, the defence ministry said on Sunday, as a suicide bomber killed two policemen at a border post.

The bombing on Sunday at Torkham, a key border crossing between Afghanistan and Pakistan in Nangarhar province, was the latest in a surge of violence weeks ahead of the war-torn country’s second presidential elections.

“There was a suicide attack on one of our police posts in Torkham. A police officer and policeman have been killed,” regional border police commander Mohammad Zaman Mamozai told AFP, adding that another officer was wounded.

The ministry meanwhile announced that Afghan commandos backed by international forces had killed 35 rebels in raids on Taliban hideouts in the southern province of Kandahar on Saturday.

Several other insurgents were wounded in the raids in Shah Wali Kot district in the restive province, the ministry said in a statement.

“The national army commandos having the support of the international forces and air force killed 35 enemies who had massed there to interrupt the people’s lives,” the statement said.

The recent surge in Taliban-linked violence highlights the threat to Afghanistan’s security as it prepares for its second-ever presidential elections set for August 20.