Six Taliban rebels dead in Afghanistan
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Six Taliban rebels dead in Afghanistan

Two US-led coalition soldiers also died in the gunfight in eastern Afghanistan.

india Updated: Aug 26, 2006 17:52 IST

A roadside bomb and gunfight in eastern Afghanistan left two US-led coalition soldiers dead and another two wounded as six insurgents were killed in clashes with police in the south, officials said on Saturday.

The soldiers died when a roadside bomb exploded while they were conducting a combat patrol in eastern Laghman province on Friday, triggering a gunfight between coalition forces and "a group of enemy extremists," US military said in a statement.

The military didn't reveal the names and nationality of the slain and wounded soldiers and only said the injured had been transported to a hospital where they were listed in a stable condition.

Separately, police clashed with suspected Taliban militants in southern Afghanistan Friday, killing six and wounding 12 insurgents, a district chief said.

One policeman was also wounded after militants attacked the Argandab district chief's compound in the southern province of Zabul, said Hussein Ali, the district chief.

The militants left the bodies of the dead and took away the wounded following the five-hour clash, Ali said. Police also recovered weapons from the scene, he said.

Afghanistan is going through its worst bout of violence since late 2001 when an American-led invasion ousted the Taliban regime for hosting Osama bin Laden.

Meanwhile, President Hamid Karzai ordered a probe on Friday into the killings of eight people in a raid US forces claimed targeted Al-Qaeda members but local police said were civilians -- the second time in a week his government has questioned the military's tactics.

The inquiry into Thursday's killings in eastern Kunar province is Karzai's latest show of displeasure towards the coalition forces that he depends on to protect his weak government from resurgent Taliban and Al-Qaeda militants.

Karzai has repeatedly demanded foreign forces take more care to avoid civilian casualties when conducting operations.

The US military said a joint American-Afghan force descended on a compound in Shigal district to nab an "Al-Qaeda facilitator" wanted for attacks on coalition and Afghan forces in the region. Gunmen inside the compound shot at the troops, who returned fire and killed seven suspected Al-Qaeda members, including the facilitator, the military said.

A child was also killed in the clash and a woman wounded.

But police said US-led forces attacked a building where two families were trying to resolve a dispute with the help of tribal elders.

First Published: Aug 26, 2006 13:03 IST