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Six Taliban rebels dead in fresh Afghan clash

About 100 Afghan soldiers were fighting a fierce battle with Taliban in Afghanistan with two troops and six Taliban already dead.

india Updated: May 20, 2006 15:28 IST
Agence France-Presse
Agence France-Presse

About 100 Afghan soldiers were fighting a fierce battle with Taliban in southern Afghanistan on Saturday, with two troops and six Taliban already dead, military officials said.

The Afghan army had called for air support from coalition forces as they battled about an equal number of rebels in a full frontal assault in southern Helmand province, the army commander for southern Afghanistan said.

The military unit was attacked, as it was moving away from a district in Helmand where they had clashed with Taliban fighters late on Friday, General Rahmatullah Raufi said.

An Afghan army soldier was killed in that encounter, which occurred in an area around Sangin and Kajaki districts, and about four wounded, he said. "Six Taliban have been killed," he said.

Another soldier was killed and three wounded in the fighting early on Saturday, another army officer said on condition of anonymity.

Raufi would only confirm that the fighting was ongoing.

The US-led coalition could not immediately give details of the engagement but said it was in general supporting Afghan forces in Helmand.

The latest clash was not far from a major battle that erupted in Helmand's Musa Qala district on Wednesday.

Sixty "enemy fighters" and 16 police were killed in the battle, the coalition said in a statement Friday.

The Musa Qala battle was one of several major clashes in Afghanistan over the past few days that have left around 200 Taliban dead in some of the heaviest fighting in the country since the Taliban regime was toppled in late 2001.

About 25 troops, police and civilians have also been killed, including a Canadian who became the first Canadian woman to be killed in battle since World War II.

First Published: May 20, 2006 10:52 IST