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Afghan, coalition forces kill over 70 Taliban

world Updated: May 19, 2007 16:15 IST

IANS
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Afghan security officials claimed on Saturday to have killed some 70 suspected Taliban in a clash in south-eastern Afghanistan in which US-led coalition lent close air support, while several dozens more were killed in a separate attack.

The fire fight took place in Samkanai district of Paktia province on Friday afternoon and lasted until late evening, Abdul Rahman Sarjang, provincial police chief, said.

He said that the operation which was carried out jointly by Afghan police, army and coalition forces resulted in the death of some 70 Taliban included Chechen, Arab and Pakistani fighters. One policeman was also killed, Sarjang said.

General Murad Ali, deputy army commander for the eastern region, said that 65 different types of weapons were also seized. Ali said that the operation was conducted after the joint Afghan border police and coalition forces came under fire by Taliban fighters.

Coalition forces also said in a statement that their joint patrol with Afghan forces was ambushed by a group of insurgents in Paktia province, near the Pakistani border.

During the eight-hour clash in which air support was also called in, several Taliban were killed, the statement said, without giving any figures.

Meanwhile, several dozen Taliban were killed in north-eastern Kapisa province in a coalition air strike on Friday after the militants attacked a joint convoy of Afghan and coalition forces in the Al Asay area of the province, the US military said in a statement.

The clashes came a day after some 14 suspected Taliban were killed and 10 others wounded when a coalition air strike destroyed a convoy of their seven vehicles in the Bakwa district of western Farah province Thursday.

The militancy so far this year has left over 1,400 people dead, most of them insurgents.