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Afghan, American troops kill 38 Taliban

world Updated: Aug 15, 2009 20:22 IST

AFP
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Afghan army special forces backed by US-led international troops killed up to 38 Taliban militants in separate operations, they said on Saturday.

In a surprise attack on Friday night units from the two forces working together dropped from helicopters into Charchino district, in central Uruzgan province, for a battle that lasted several hours, the Afghan army said.

"Twenty-nine enemies were killed. The bodies are still lying in the battle field," southern Afghanistan military corp commander general Shair Mohammad Zazai told AFP.

He said the troops confiscated 96 sacks of aluminium nitrate explosive and a large amount of opium. Separately, Taliban militants ambushed an Afghan army patrol on Friday in Barmal, a district of Paktika province bordering Pakistan, the defence ministry said in a statement. "A large number of enemies were killed but they left behind two of their dead. Four Afghan soldiers were also wounded," the statement said.

In neighbouring Khost province, seven militants were killed in a joint operation by Afghan army and NATO forces and 17 militants were wounded, the ministry said. Afghanistan has experienced a series of fresh attacks across the country in the days before the presidential vote on August 20, only the country's second.

A suicide blast in Kabul early Saturday killed seven civilians and wounded more than 90 others. The ultra-Islamic Taliban fighters have called on people to boycott the vote. They were toppled from power by a US-led invasion in late 2001.