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Taliban Captures Remote District in Southern Afghanistan


Afghan officials say Taliban militants have captured a remote district in southern Afghanistan.

Officials said Monday that local security forces fled Ajiristan district in Ghazni province after Taliban fighters attacked overnight. Authorities say they are working on a plan to regain control of the district.

Taliban militants have captured remote villages in the past, but Afghan and international forces are often able to push out the fighters.

In western Afghanistan today, Afghan officials said two Turkish engineers kidnapped last week near Herat have been released and are returning home.

Afghan police said the victims' employers may have paid a ransom to secure their release Sunday.

Separately, the U.S.-led coalition announced that one of its soldiers died today from wounds he suffered in an explosion Sunday in the southern province of Helmand.

In the same province Sunday, NATO's international force said its troops killed a high-level Taliban commander, Mullah Sheikh, and two of his followers near Musa Qala.

Also Sunday, Afghan officials said air strikes fired by NATO-led troops killed about 20 Taliban rebels in the eastern province of Khost.

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