Coalition forces kill militants, two Afghan civilians in raids

Other News Materials 24 February 2008 19:02 (UTC +04:00)

( dpa ) - US-led Coalition forces conducted two operations in southern Afghanistan, killing a number of Taliban militants as well as two civilians caught in the cross fire, the military said Sunday.

A woman and a child were killed after the coalition forces exchanged small-arms fire with suspected Taliban militants in Kajaki district of southern Helmand province on Saturday, the US military said in statement.

While searching the houses, the combined forces came under attack by small-arms fire and hand grenades by militants "who were barricaded in separate rooms" in a compound, the statement said.

"The assailants were killed when Coalition forces responded in self-defence," Major Chris Belcher, a coalition forces spokesman, was quoted in the statement as saying.

"A search of the site after the exchange revealed a dead female and child in one of the rooms the assailants used to engage coalition forces," he said.

Two individuals, suspected to have ties to Taliban insurgents, were also detained, it added.

Also on Saturday, one Taliban rebel was killed and another wounded in a fight with Afghan army forces, defence ministry said in a statement.

Seventeen other militants were detained in separate raids by Afghan army personnel in Sabari and Yaquobi districts of south- eastern Khost province, the statement said.

Taliban-led insurgency is expected to rise after a lull during the winter as the weather in southern and eastern regions, the main areas for Taliban activities, is getting warmer.