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26 Suspected Taleban Militants Killed in Afghanistan

Afghan and U.S.-led coalition officials say 26 suspected Taleban militants have been killed in two separate battles in Kandahar province.

Officials said Thursday that 20 of the militants died Wednesday in a battle with Afghan and coalition forces in Shah Wali Kot district. Eight others were wounded. Officials say six militants were killed in the nearby district of Zhari.

The coalition also says its soldiers killed a suspected militant and detained three others in a raid early Thursday in Paktika province.

Separately, the foreign ministry in the United Arab Emirates says a security guard missing in Afghanistan is an Emirati national. The ministry says the guard worked in a security force providing protection for Emirati humanitarian groups in Afghanistan.

Meanwhile, the U.S.-led coalition in Afghanistan says it is investigating the Taleban's claims that militants captured a foreign soldier Tuesday in southern Helmand province.

If confirmed, it would be the first kidnapping of a coalition soldier by the Taleban since the extremist group was pushed from power by a U.S.-led invasion in 2001.

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