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US Military Kills 7 Insurgents in Southern Afghanistan

The U.S. military in Afghanistan says coalition forces have killed up to seven militants preparing to launch a rocket attack in Paktika province, near the Pakistani border.

A military statement says coalition forces fired mortars and carried out airstrikes after spotting a group of militants setting up rockets in Bermel district of the eastern province Friday.

The military says a ground patrol went to the site and confirmed that two militants died on the spot and another five were presumed dead.

On Thursday, the United States gave thousands of weapons and hundreds of armored vehicles to Afghanistan's army as it braces for renewed fighting with Taleban insurgents in the coming warmer months.

Afghanistan is working to build its army into a 70,000-strong force by the end of 2008.

Also Thursday, Britain announced the deployment of an additional 800 troops to southern Afghanistan, where Taleban fighters are most active. This will bring the number of British troops in the war-torn country to 5,800.

Britain's Defense Secretary Des Browne said the country's overall deployment in Afghanistan will only increase by 300 soldiers since the military will reduce its manpower in Kabul by 500.

Taleban forces have historically renewed attacks when temperatures warm and Afghanistan's mountain snows melt.

Some information for this report was provided by AP.