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US-led coalition claims to kill 2 dozen Taliban

world Updated: Jun 05, 2007 11:25 IST

AFP
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Soldiers under attack in southern Afghanistan called in military bombers in a four-hour battle that left an "estimated two dozen enemy fighters killed," the US-led coalition said Tuesday.

Afghan and coalition soldiers were attacked with rocket and gunfire on Monday in the same area of Kandahar where soldiers from the separate NATO-led force came under fire the day before, leaving eight wounded.

"Coalition close air support was requested and munitions were dropped on three enemy positions," the coalition said in a statement.

"There were an estimated two dozen enemy fighters killed during the four-hour battle and no reports of Afghan civilian injuries," it said.

The battle was about 35 kilometres (22 miles) north of Kandahar city, which sees regulars attacks by Taliban fighters.

The Taliban movement picked up arms in Kandahar province in the early 1990s, when Afghanistan was in chaos as the leaders of the anti-Soviet resistance fought each other for power in Kabul.

The extremists were in government by 1994 and imposed their harsh version of Islam on a battered population before being driven from government in late 2001 by the coalition.

They are trying to stage a comeback with assistance from their allies in the Al-Qaeda network and tactics apparently imported from the conflict in Iraq.