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Coalition Forces Kill 15 Militants in Western Afghanistan


U.S.-led coalition forces have killed 15 Taliban militants and freed 15 hostages during an operation in western Afghanistan.

Military officials say two Taliban leaders were among those killed in Thursday's raid in Herat province. There are also reports that some civilians were killed or wounded in the operation.

NATO also confirmed that it killed senior Taliban commander Bismullah Akhund in southern Afghanistan. Akhund is accused of supplying weapons and explosives that have killed Afghan and foreign forces in the area.

Meanwhile, U.S. commanders in Afghanistan have requested more troops, as well as hundreds more "Mine Resistant Ambush Protected" vehicles, known as MRAPs.

The vehicles have a V-shaped hull and protect U.S. personnel from the powerful blasts of roadside bombs - a major cause of combat deaths and injuries.

On Wednesday, NATO said troops are still patrolling a volatile area in eastern Afghanistan near the Pakistani border, where militants attacked an outpost on Sunday.

Nine U.S. troops were killed in the attack in the village of Wanat, on the border of Nuristan and Kunar provinces. It was one of the deadliest attacks on U.S. troops, since Taliban was ousted from power in 2001.

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

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