Air raid, clash leave 11 Taliban militants dead in Afghanistan

Other News Materials 21 April 2008 15:52 (UTC +04:00)

(dpa) - Afghan and coalition forces killed at least 11 militants in separate raids that included an airstrike in southern Afghanistan, while five Afghan army soldiers were wounded in a roadside bomb attack, officials said on Monday.

An airstrike by international forces in Gramsir district of volatile Hemand province on Sunday killed seven Taliban militants, the defence ministry said in a statement.

A Taliban vehicle was also destroyed in the air raid, it said.

In a separate incident on Sunday in neighboring Kandahar province, Taliban militants attacked a joint patrol of Afghan and international forces near the Posta Haji area of the province, the statement said.

The combined forces returned the fire and killed four militants, the statement said, adding that there were no casualties among the joint forces.

Five Afghan army soldiers were wounded when their Ranger was struck by a roadside bomb blast in Qalat, the capital city of Zabul province, on Sunday, the army statement said, adding the wounded soldiers were in stable condition at a hospital in the region.

Ousted from power in a US-led invasion in late 2001, Taliban militants have waged a bloody insurgency to topple the Western-backed Afghan government and expel the foreign forces.

More than 8,000 people - mostly insurgents - were killed in violence last year, while the fighting so far this year has claimed the lives of at least 1,000 people.