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US Military Reports Death of Top Afghan Rebel Commander


United States military says security forces in Afghanistan killed a top rebel commander and several of his men as they tried to enter the country from neighboring Pakistan.

Coalition officials identified the rebel as Abdul Manan, who commanded insurgent fighters in the Haqqani network, which is aligned with the Taliban.

There has been no confirmation of the commanders' death by Afghan officials or Taliban militants.

In other news, fierce fighting was reported Thursday as Taliban insurgents and NATO and Afghan troops battled for control of a district in western Farah province.

Regional officials say several Taliban fighters and two Afghan police were killed in the fighting, which began late Monday, when a large number of insurgents seized control of Gulistan district.

Insurgents also have captured neighboring Bakwa district, forcing hundreds of residents to flee.

Elsewhere in eastern Nangarhar province, coalition forces say three people, including two children, were killed during a raid on a compound suspected of harboring insurgents.

U.S. and NATO military officials say insurgents frequently use residential homes as cover, causing civilian casualties.

In southern Kandahar province, officials say villages in the southern Arghandab district are now quiet after days of fighting for control of the area between Taliban militants and Canadian and Afghan troops.

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