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Coalition Forces Kill 14 Militants in Eastern Afghanistan


U.S.- led coalition forces in Afghanistan say they killed 14 militants Friday in an attack on a hideout in eastern part of the country.

A military statement says the coalition forces tracked the militants to the compound in Nuristan province. The military says the militants were armed with rifles and rocket-propelled grenades.

In a separate incident, Afghan and coalition forces raided a village in the southern Afghan province of Kandahar early Friday. They killed one suspected militant and captured eight others.

The military says suspected militants are believed to have planned and carried out attacks on Afghan and coalition forces in Kandahar and neighboring Helmand province.

More than 10,000 Afghan and foreign troops are scouring southern Afghan provinces for Taleban remnants. The military offensive began in May.

The commander of NATO forces in Afghanistan says the international community has underestimated the resurgence of the Taleban. He says this is partly because the war in Iraq has diverted attention and resources.

Lieutenant General David Richards told BBC Thursday that the international community "took their eye off this ball and a vacuum was allowed to develop" in Afghanistan.

The British general said the war in Iraq absorbed people's interest and resources for a while. But he said he is optimistic the insurgency in Afghanistan can be defeated.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.

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