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NATO, Afghan Forces Capture 3 Insurgent Leaders

NATO forces in Afghanistan say coalition and Afghan forces have captured leaders of an insurgent group in the eastern part of Afghanistan.

The international force in Afghanistan released a statement Thursday saying two leaders of the Hizb-i-Islami group were detained in Parwan province Wednesday. The statement said allied forces captured a third leader of the group in Khost province.

One of the detainees was the media chief for the group. He is believed to have ties to multiple insurgent groups and has been linked to suicide bombings carried out in Afghanistan in November and January. The latest attack, a bombing at a market, killed eight people and wounded six others.

Earlier this week, Afghan authorities said they will investigate whether four men killed in a NATO operation late Tuesday in southern Afghanistan were civilians or Taliban fighters.

The four men were killed in Helmand province, where NATO and Taliban insurgents are engaged in heavy fighting.

NATO said the four were killed because they posed a threat to their soldiers, while village authorities said the victims were civilians.

Also in Helmand, a joint Afghan-NATO patrol targeted a compound of a Taliban explosives expert Wednesday, killing several armed men and detaining one. During a search of the premises the patrol discovered rifles, grenades and ammunition.

In neighboring Kandahar province, a joint Afghan-coalition force discovered several caches of weapons in the Panjwai district. They included various shell casings, ball bearings, AK-47 machine guns with full magazines, detonation cords, wire and electronics.

Some information for this report was provided by AP.