36 suspected Taliban killed, 6 cops die in blasts
US-led coalition and Afghan troops clashed with militants and called in air-strikes on Thursday in southern Afghanistan, killing 36 suspected Taliban rebels in separate battles, as roadside blasts left six police officers dead, officials said.
Separately, a NATO soldier was killed and two others wounded during an operation in the south, the alliance said in a statement.
In southern Helmand province, US-led coalition and Afghan troops were attacked by militants holed up in a compound in Gereshk district, said Maj Gen Muhiddin Ghori of the Afghan National Army. The joint forces called in an air-strike on the compound, leaving 20 suspected Taliban fighters dead.
The militants' dead bodies were left at the compound, and there were no casualties among the joint force, Ghori said.
Also in Helmand, Afghan police clashed with insurgents in Sangin district, leaving five militants dead, a coalition statement said. The police hit a mine during the fire fight, leaving one officer dead and another wounded, it said.
In neighboring Uruzgan province, coalition troops called in air-strikes on Taliban fighters after a joint US-Afghan patrol was ambushed by militants, the coalition said.
There were no reports of US or Afghan casualties in the clash, which left an estimated 11 Taliban fighters dead.
In the eastern Khost province, a roadside bomb targeting a police patrol vehicle, left five officers dead and another wounded, said Wazir Pacha, a spokesman for the provincial police chief.
The victims were part of a joint US-Afghan patrol, Pacha said. No US-led coalition troops were injured in the morning blast. Also on Thursday, a NATO soldier was killed and two others were wounded during an operation in southern Afghanistan.