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Afghan, Foreign Soldiers Killed in Independence Day Clashes

Clashes between coalition forces and Taleban insurgents in Afghanistan have left at least five soldiers dead Saturday.

NATO officials say one coalition soldier and an Afghan soldier were killed in southern Urugzan province.

In Kunar province, military officials say three soldiers in the U.S.-led coalition were killed in combat.

The violence comes as Afghanistan celebrated the 87th anniversary of its independence from British rule.

Holiday festivities, including firework displays and a military parade, were held at a stadium in Kabul.

President Hamid Karzai told thousands of people who gathered at the stadium that education is key to the country's future stability and continued independence.

The strict Islamic leadership of the former Taleban regime prohibited girls from attending school. Schools have been one of the main targets of attacks by militant supporters of the ousted Taleban.

U.S.-led coalition forces drove out the Taleban in 2001. Some 21,000 NATO-led troops have been stationed in Afghanistan since then to help maintain security as the Afghan government further establishes its leadership.

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