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Clash in Eastern Afghanistan Kills 2 US Marines, 23 Insurgents

U.S. military authorities in Afghanistan say two Marines and some 23 insurgents have been killed in a clash in eastern Afghanistan.

They said Sunday's battle erupted when U.S. Marines tracked down a band of insurgents northeast of Jalalabad. The Marines later called in airstrikes.

Meanwhile, Afghanistan's independent reconciliation commission has announced an apparent policy change, saying former Taleban leader Mullah Mohammed Omar and renegade former prime minister Gulbuddin Hekmatyar are welcome to take part in the reconciliation process.

The men, both sought by the United States, were thought to be excluded from President Hamid Karzai's amnesty offer.

However, the head of the reconciliation commission, Sibghatullah Mujaddedi, said in Kabul today the process is open to all Afghans who recognize the president's authority and the new constitution.

When contacted by VOA, President Karzai's office and local U.S. military officials could not confirm a change in policy on the two wanted men.

Some information for this report provided by AP and AFP.