American, 16 rebels killed in Afghanistan

Kabul, August 9:

One US service member and at least 16 suspected Taliban rebels were killed in fighting in southern Afghanistan, the US military said today. The American was killed when Afghan and US forces came under attack during a patrol yesterday in southern Zabul province’s Day Chopan district, triggering a firefight, the US military said in a statement. US and coalition aircraft provided air support during the clash, it said. Initial estimates showed that at least 16 suspected insurgents were killed, according to the statement. In another incident, four suspected Taliban guerrillas attacked a medical clinic in eastern Afghanistan, killing a doctor and sparking a clash that left another bystander dead, a provincial governor said today. The assault early yesterday in Ghazni province’s Andar district in which the doctor was shot to death prompted villagers to attack the militants. One villager walking nearby was fatally shot in the ensuing firefight, said Ghazni’s Gov. Haji Sher Allam.

“Fortunately, police reached the area quickly and arrested two of the Taliban who were injured by the people,” he said, adding that the other two insurgents escaped. The US military said in a statement today that US-led coalition forces had discovered three separate weapons caches in eastern Afghanistan. The first cache, discovered on Sunday near Nangarhar province’s Jalalabad district, included an anti-aircraft gun and hundreds of anti-aircraft rounds, and dozens of mortars, rockets and rocket-propelled grenades. Another cache discovered northwest of Kunar province’s Asadabad district consisted of a rocket-propelled grenade launcher, shotguns, 4.5 kg of explosives, several bolt-action rifles and about 50 rocket-propelled grenades. Both caches were transported to nearby US bases for destruction. The third cache was discovered north of Camp Salerno, an American base in eastern Khost province, and included tank rounds and recoilless rifle and mortar rounds. The ammunition was destroyed by experts, it said.