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14 Militants Killed in Afghanistan


The U.S. military says coalition forces in Afghanistan killed 14 insurgents in the country's western and southern regions.

A statement Saturday says U.S. led forces killed four militants while searching for a Taliban commander in the western province of Farah.

The military says troops also killed 10 insurgents after coalition forces came under fire while on patrol in southern Helmand province.

The United States has expressed concern over a growing Taliban insurgency and wants to bolster the number of troops in Afghanistan ahead of national elections next year.

U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates says the United States wants to move in at least four combat brigades, each having 3,500 to 5,000 soldiers, by early next year.

Gates met in Canada Friday with defense leaders from seven other countries - Britain, Australia, Canada, Estonia, Romania, Denmark, and the Netherlands - that have troops in Afghanistan.

Gates disputed pessimistic claims that violence is out of control in Afghanistan.

Meanwhile, a delegation representing the 15 countries of the U.N. Security Council has started a week-long, fact-finding mission in Afghanistan.

Officials say the U.N. mission will review the humanitarian situation and the status of international pledges to support Afghanistan.

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

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