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Archive for Saturday, September 24, 2005

14 suspected Taliban, 1 Afghan soldier killed

September 24, 2005

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— U.S. and Afghan forces backed by helicopter gunships killed 14 suspected Taliban fighters in central Afghanistan in the heaviest clashes since landmark parliamentary elections went off without major disruption, officials said Friday.

One Afghan soldier died and a U.S. soldier was wounded in the fighting in central Uruzgan on Thursday and Friday, the first time U.S.-led forces used air power since President Hamid Karzai questioned the need for airstrikes.

Meanwhile, unidentified gunmen killed a popular local singer and six companions in northern Afghanistan. The motive for the attack in Jawzjan province was unclear, and there was no immediate indication the killings were linked to the Taliban insurgency.

More than 1,200 people, many of them militants, died in violence in the six months leading up to Sunday's historic legislative vote, which the Taliban vowed to disrupt but had little effect on polling day.

Fighting erupted Thursday in central Uruzgan province after Taliban fighters attacked a patrol of Afghan troops with mortars, heavy machine guns and rocket-propelled grenades, the U.S. military said in a statement.

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