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NATO Forces Capture District Afghan Taliban Chief

NATO says Afghan and international forces have captured a district Taliban leader after a four-hour gunbattle in southern Afghanistan. The alliance said Thursday that a number of insurgents were killed in the fighting in the remote Baghran district of Helmand province late Wednesday.

NATO said troops captured several militants, including the Taliban chief of Now Zad, a district southwest of where the operation took place.

Elsewhere in the south, NATO says one of its service members was killed in an insurgent attack Thursday. The death was the first NATO casualty of this month. June was the deadliest month for international forces in Afghanistan since 2001, with 102 soldiers killed.

In northern Afghanistan, South Korean officials say two rockets hit the country's base in Parwan province early Thursday. No one was hurt in the attack, which comes as South Korea's civilian reconstruction team prepares to officially launch its mission in Afghanistan.

A South Korean foreign ministry spokesman said construction workers and security personnel were at the base when the rockets hit. The spokesman said security personnel fired two rockets back in response. South Korea withdrew troops from Afghanistan following a hostage standoff with the Taliban in 2007. Insurgents murdered two South Korean volunteers after taking a group hostage.

In eastern Afghanistan, officials say three civilians were killed Thursday in a roadside bombing in the Khas Kunar district of Kunar province.

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