U.S. forces and Afghan police kill over 20 Taliban

A025560413.jpgKANDAHAR, Afghanistan (Reuters) – U.S.-led soldiers, backed by air support, and Afghan police killed more than 20 Taliban fighters in two separate clashes, officials said on Sunday.

A U.S. military statement said its forces killed more than 10 insurgents during an operation in the southeast province of Khost on Saturday, and did not mention any casualties on its side.

In Helmand, a southern province also regarded as a Taliban stronghold, militants lost 10 men in an assault on a police post, provincial police chief Mohammad Hussein Andiwal said. Four police were wounded defending their post.

The Taliban could not be reached immediately for comment.

Ousted from power in 2001 after refusing to surrender its al Qaeda guests, the Taliban militia intensified a campaign in 2005 to drive out foreign forces and bring down President Hamid Karzai’s government.

Suicide bombers and roadside bomb attacks, ambushes and kidnapping are the guerrillas’ favored tactics.

On Sunday, a suicide bomber killed himself in an attack on a NATO convoy in the western province of Herat, but there were no other casualties, according to witnesses.

On Saturday, the Taliban abducted four Afghan employees of a security firm in Maidan Wardak province, on the main highway southwest of Kabul, a provincial official said.

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