Afghan clashes leaves 31 suspected Taliban dead

Kabul, July 14:

Clashes between Taliban and Afghan forces backed by international troops left at least 31 rebels dead, while two Afghan soldiers were also killed and ten wounded, officials said today.

Afghan police killed at least six suspected Taliban militants while two policemen were wounded in a gunfight after police surrounded a Taliban hideout in southern Afghanistan.

According to Kandahar provincial police chief Sayed Agha Saqib, the attack took place in the Arghandab district of Kandahar yesterday when the police, acting on an intelligence report, surrounded a compound where Taliban militants had gathered for a meeting.

“The police asked the militants to surrender but they refused and opened fire on our forces,” Saqib told DPA.

Several of the militants hiding in the compound escaped, he said.

Meanwhile in the neighbouring Uruzgan province, Afghan forces supported by US-led coalition forces killed 15 suspected Taliban when their combined forces’ convoy was ambushed by rebels in the Charchino district, the Afghan defence ministry said in a statement.

The battle, which included aerial bombing by coalition forces, caused no casualties among the Afghan and international forces.

Also yesterday, 10 militants were killed in a fight with Afghan and NATO forces in the Gerishk district while on Thursday some 20 suspected rebels were killed in the same province, officials said.