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Afghan, Foreign Forces Kill 24 Taliban Militants in Southern Afghanistan

An Afghan official says government troops and foreign forces have killed 24 Taliban militants in an operation in southern Afghanistan.

The official says Afghan troops and foreign warplanes attacked the militants late Friday in Zabul province. He says eight insurgents were wounded.

Elsewhere, officials say a suicide bomber killed two Indian engineers Saturday in the southwestern province of Nimroz. The blast hit employees of an Indian company working on a highway. At least five people were wounded - three of them Indians.

In another development, the foreign ministers of NATO members France and Canada are in Afghanistan for talks with President Hamid Karzai.

French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner, who arrived in Kabul Saturday, said Friday France plans to double its NATO contingent in Afghanistan from the current 1,500 level to 3,000.

French officials say Afghan authorities need to take more responsibility for security and reconstruction in the country.

Saturday's suicide bombing in Nimroz is the second attack on road builders in Afghanistan this week. A Taliban attack killed 17 Afghan construction workers in Zabul Tuesday.

Taliban militants have carried out numerous attacks against Afghan reconstruction projects in their campaign to undermine the Western-backed Afghan government.

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