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Coalition Troops Kill 35 Insurgents in Afghanistan


The U.S. military says Afghan and U.S.-led coalition troops have killed at least 35 insurgents in two days of ground fighting and air strikes in southern Afghanistan.

A military statement says the clashes erupted Friday when the joint patrol was ambushed in the Kajaki district of Helmand province. U.S. officials say 20 insurgents were killed after troops returned fire and called for air support.

On Saturday, U.S. officials said joint forces killed another 15 militants during the raid on a compound reportedly used for making weapons and bombs in Kajaki district.

Elsewhere in southern Afghanistan, NATO says one of its soldiers was killed in a bomb blast Saturday. The alliance did not release details of the bombing or the nationality of the soldier.

In a separate operation on Friday, the U.S. military says Afghan troops, with the help of U.S. coalition forces, captured a Taliban commander responsible for facilitating suicide bombings and roadside bombs in the Lagharah Valley of Khost Province, south of Kabul.

Southern Afghanistan is the center of a growing Taliban-led insurgency, fueled in part by the illicit opium trade from poppy harvests in Helmand.

The Obama administration has announced a revised strategy to fight militants in Afghanistan and neighboring Pakistan. The new plan includes sending thousands of additional troops, as well as more money to train Afghan police and develop tribal areas.


Some information for this report was provided by Reuters.

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