Clashes kill 20 suspected Taliban in Kandahar
Published Thursday, October 4, 2007 6:20AM EDT
Last Updated Friday, May 18, 2012 6:58PM EDT
KANDAHAR Afghanistan - Afghan troops backed by NATO-led forces clashed with suspected Taliban fighters in southern Afghanistan, leaving 20 militants dead, a provincial police chief said Thursday.
The authorities recovered three bodies of the militants alongside numerous weapons after the clash in Shah Wali Kot district in Kandahar province late Wednesday, said Kandahar police chief Sayed Agha Saqib. There were no injuries among Afghan and NATO troops.
Retreating militants took 17 bodies off the battlefield, Saqib said.
NATO officials could not immediately confirm Saqib's account, and said they were checking the report. The clash could not be independently verified due to the remoteness of the area where it took place.
In a separate incident, militants attacked a police checkpoint in Arghistan district, also in Kandahar province, wounding three officers on Wednesday, Saqib said. There were no report of militant casualties from that clash.
Violence in Afghanistan has peaked this year, with nearly 5,100 people killed in suicide bombings, gun battles, airstrikes, and roadside bombs around the country through the first nine months of the year, according to an AP count based on figures from Afghan, U.S. and NATO officials.
The number represents a 55 per cent increase over the first nine months of 2006, when the AP count recorded 3,288 insurgency-related deaths. The AP count recorded 4,019 deaths in all of 2006.
Most of the violence occurred in the country's south, the centre of the resurgent Taliban movement that was ousted from power in the U.S.-led invasion in late 2001.