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US-Led Coalition Kills 12 Insurgents in Southern Afghanistan


The U.S.-led coalition in Afghanistan says coalition forces have killed more than 12 insurgents in a battle in the country's south.

The coalition says its troops were on a humanitarian mission in Helmand province Wednesday when one of their vehicles struck a mine and militants opened fire. It says the coalition soldiers called in air strikes that killed at least 12 of the attackers.

The U.S.-led coalition says a second vehicle also hit a mine later on. It was not clear if there were any casualties among the troops.

Afghan police also reported two suicide car bombings near the Pakistani border that killed at least one Afghan and wounded more than 20 other people.

In another development, the new NATO commander in Afghanistan says he will soon visit neighboring Pakistan for talks on improving security along the troubled border.

U.S. General David McKiernan said Wednesday that he plans to discuss border security with Pakistani military chief General Ashfaq Kayani. McKiernan was giving his first news conference a day after taking command of NATO's 50,000 troops in Afghanistan.

McKiernan also says he wants to revive three-way talks among NATO, Afghan and Pakistani authorities on how to stop militants from crossing the porous Afghan-Pakistani border.

One of Wednesday's car bombings in Afghanistan targeted a Canadian security convoy in the town of Spin Boldak in Kandahar province. Officials say one Afghan child was killed.

The other suicide attack wounded at least 20 people outside a government building in Khost province.

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

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