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Archive for Thursday, March 30, 2006

Taliban attack kills U.S., Canadian soldiers

March 30, 2006

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— Taliban militants launched a rare attack Wednesday on a coalition base in southern Afghanistan, killing an American and a Canadian soldier and sparking fierce U.S.-led retaliation that left 32 insurgents dead in the bloodiest fighting in months.

The attack came a day after at least 10 people were killed in two separate roadside bombings and reflected a growing intensity of militant assaults after the Taliban warned of a renewed offensive this year.

The battle began hours after Taliban insurgents ambushed an Afghan supply convoy as it returned to the remote forward operating base late Tuesday, killing eight Afghan soldiers, Vernon said.

U.S. and British warplanes and helicopters were called in to provide air support and a Canadian quick reaction force was sent from Kandahar to the base, where a small contingent of American and Canadian soldiers are stationed with Afghan troops in the Sangin district of the volatile Helmand province.

Early Wednesday, the base came under a "significant Taliban attack," during which the Canadian and American soldiers were killed, Vernon said. At least five coalition troops were wounded, including three Canadians and an American, officials said.

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