Fighting in Afghanistan leaves seven ultras dead

Associated Press

Kandahar, June 15:

Fighting between about 90 suspected Taliban rebels and hundreds of Afghan soldiers and US-coalition troops left seven insurgents dead and 10 wounded, an Afghan commander said today.

The clash broke out on the border between Kandahar and Uruzgan, two southern provinces, yesterday after the rebels attacked a joint Afghan-coalition patrol, army commander Gen Muslim Amid said.

Meanwhile, Pakistan’s Geo television broadcast an interview with a man it identified as Taliban military commander Mullah Akhtar Usmani, who said the group’s fugitive chief Mullah Mohammed Omar and Osama bin Laden are alive and well.

With an AK-47 rifle next to him and a black turban on his head, the man said Omar was leading the rebellion in Afghanistan from a hideout. He said discipline among the rebels was strong. Asked to comment on whether bin Laden was hiding in Afghanistan, the man said: “He is absolutely fine ... (but) I will not say where he is.” Geo said the interview was recorded last week, but declined to say where.