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Gunmen Kill 8 Private Security Guards in Afghanistan

A man injured in a roadside bomb blast lies on a stretcher in a hospital in Herat, west of Kabul, 18 Oct 2010

Eight Afghan security guards and one militant were killed early Monday when Taliban insurgents attacked a security post in southern Helmand province.

Afghan authorities say two people were wounded in the gunfight in Gereshk district.

In western Herat province, a bomb blast claimed the lives of three Afghan civilians. Several others, including a policeman, were wounded.

Meanwhile, NATO said Monday a joint Afghan-coalition force discovered an insurgent weapon factory in Sangin district of Helmand province.

A NATO statement said the factory contained six 25-kilogram barrels of home-made explosives, scales, a boiler room and a drying room. A precision artillery strike destroyed the factory.

On Sunday, coalition forces killed at least 10 insurgents during air strikes in northern Baghlan province targeting a senior Taliban leader.

Also Sunday, a detainee in NATO's custody was found dead in his holding cell in southern Kandahar province. The alliance says it is investigating the circumstances of his death.

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