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NATO: Joint Force Captures Afghan Taliban Commander


NATO says a joint international and Afghan force has captured a Taliban commander in southern Afghanistan.

The alliance said Tuesday that the Taliban "shadow" government chief of Nawah-ye Barakzai district and two other insurgents were detained late Monday during a search operation near the city of Lashkar Gah in Helmand province. Militants were also detained during separate operations in eastern Logar and Ghazni provinces, according to NATO.

Elsewhere in the south, NATO said a bomb explosion killed two of its service members Tuesday.

The latest violence comes as General David Patreaus assumed command of around 140,000 U.S. and NATO troops in Afghanistan following the ouster of General Stanley McChrystal. General Petraeus has said President Barack Obama's counterinsurgency war strategy for Afghanistan will remain in place as troops prepare to clear southern Kandahar province, the spiritual homeland of the Taliban.

Meanwhile, the British Defense Ministry says a British soldier died Monday of injuries sustained during a roadside bombing the day before in the Nahr-e Saraj district of Helmand. Another British soldier was killed Monday in a explosion while on patrol in the same district.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy's office said Tuesday that a French soldier has died from injuries sustained during a roadside bombing near Kabul. The death brings the number of French troops killed in Afghanistan since 2001 to 45 and the number of British troops killed to 312.

Britain has the second largest foreign military contingent in Afghanistan, after the United States.

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

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