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Seven rebels killed in Afghan, NATO raids

Seven Taliban rebels are killed in two separate raids by Afghan soldiers and their NATO allies in troubled eastern Afghanistan.

world Updated: May 11, 2008 12:00 IST

Seven Taliban rebels were killed in two separate raids by Afghan soldiers and their NATO allies in troubled eastern Afghanistan, the army said Sunday.

Four Taliban-linked rebels were killed Saturday in an operation by US-sponsored Afghan national army troops in eastern Paktia province, army spokesman Mohammad Gul told AFP.

The same day, three Taliban militants were killed after Afghan troops backed by NATO gunship helicopters attacked them in the neighbouring province of Khost, a troubled region on the Pakistani border, Gul said.

Four other militants, one of whom was wounded, were captured, Gul said.

"We suffered no casualties in those operations," he said.

The Taliban, ousted from government in a US-led invasion in 2001, have been waging an insurgency which has intensified in the past two years.

A 70,000-strong international force, mainly operating under NATO, helps local security forces to tackle the insurgents who are particularly active in eastern and southern regions of the country.

The Islamic rebels meanwhile have used roadside and suicide bombings against the heavily armed foreign and Afghan troops. Six international soldiers have been killed in the Taliban-linked unrest this month.

Fifty-three foreign troops have died so far this year.