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70 Militants Said Killed in Afghanistan Strike


An Afghan government official says international warplanes have bombed a gathering of Taliban fighters near the southern border with Pakistan, killing 70 militants.

A provincial spokesman in Helmand Wednesday said the strike occurred before dawn in the Baram Cha district, a major gateway for heroin and opium exportation.

Helmand's governor Gulab Mangal told VOA News that most of the insurgents killed were involved in the narcotics trade or were newly arrived Arab or Pakistani fighters.

NATO and the U.S.-led coalition in Afghanistan did not confirm the attack.

But NATO issued a statement Wednesday saying it is aware of media reports of the strike, and it can confirm that there were precision air strikes in that area on October 12 against a group of Taliban commanders.

Separately in Helmand, Afghan officials say at least 18 Taliban militants were killed when militants attacked the city of Lashkar Gah late Tuesday. Gunmen also killed six police officers at a checkpoint north of the city.