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24 Taleban Militants Killed in Southern Afghanistan

U.S.-led coalition forces in Afghanistan say troops killed 24 Taleban fighters in a seven-hour battle in the country's restive south.

A coalition statement said the fight happened Wednesday in the Sangin district of Helmand province. Two coalition soldiers were wounded.

Meanwhile, Amnesty International said Taleban insurgents are deliberately targeting civilians in Afghanistan to instill fear and exert control over the population.

The London-based rights group said civilians are increasingly facing suicide attacks, abductions and beheadings.

The organization said Taleban militants have a deliberate policy of killing teachers, abducting aid workers and burning school buildings.

Amnesty said at least 756 civilians were killed in 2006, mostly from roadside bombs and suicide attacks.

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