U.S. attacks Haqqani network again in Afghanistan

KABUL (Reuters) – U.S.-led forces targeted Taliban fighters in eastern and southeast Afghanistan, including veteran commander Jalaluddin Haqqani’s network, killing several militants, the U.S. military said on Thursday.

The raids came days after U.S. drones fired missiles into Pakistan’s tribal area killing 23 people, mostly relatives of Haqqani who was once backed by the United States during the war against the Soviet invasion and occupation.

Separately, a bomb planted on a bicycle went off near the governor’s office in Ghazni province, southeast of Kabul, wounding seven people, an official said.

Security is tight across Afghanistan on the seventh anniversary of the September 11 attacks.

U.S.-led coalition forces targeted a Haqqani sub-commander who had been directing roadside bomb attacks in Khost province near the border with Pakistan. One militant was held in the operation on Wednesday, the coalition said in a statement.

Also on Wednesday, fighting erupted in Ghazni province during a coalition operation against a militant helping foreign fighters enter Afghanistan. Several insurgents were killed, the U.S. military said.

“When forces arrived, several men attempted to engage the force. Coalition forces responded with small-arms fire, killing the militants,” it said in a statement.

Violence in Afghanistan is at its highest level since the ouster of the Taliban in 2001, with more than 2,700 people killed this year, including 1,100 civilians, aid agencies say.

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