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Officials: 45 Taliban Militants Killed in Afghanistan


Afghan officials Saturday say NATO and Afghan forces killed 45 Taliban militants Friday in two locations in the volatile south.

Officials say 12 insurgents were killed during an operation in Kandahar province, while 33 others were killed in Helmand province when insurgents attacked a military patrol.

Separately, Afghan and U.S.-led coalition forces killed a Taliban commander who was disguised as a woman in central Afghanistan.

The U.S. military released a statement Friday saying troops killed Haji Yakub along with three other militants in Ghazni province. The military says Yakub was dressed in a burqa, and he was killed when he attempted to engage the troops.

The military says Yakub was linked to suicide bombings in the region.

In other news, NATO says its Secretary General, Jaap de Hoop Scheffer, has commended cooperative security efforts along the Afghanistan - Pakistan border.

Scheffer is in Afghanistan for his annual tour of coalition bases in the country.

In a statement issued Saturday, NATO said Scheffer met with key Afghan, Pakistani and NATO military leaders at the Khyber Border Coordination Center on Thursday. Scheffer said he sees challenges, as well as what he deemed "a lot of progress."

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