Six soldiers, 10 rebels killed in Afghanistan


Herat, Afghanistan : Six Afghan soldiers were killed, one of them beheaded, in a battle with Taliban insurgents, authorities said Tuesday, also reporting at least 10 militants had died in fighting.

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Five of the soldiers were killed in a gunfight that erupted after Taliban militants ambushed an army patrol late Monday in the Bala Buluk district of Farah province, military corps commander for western Afghanistan Fazal Ahmad Sayar told AFP.

“Five soldiers were killed and five were wounded. The militants beheaded one of the wounded soldiers,” he said.

Sayar said around 100 Taliban had mounted the large-scale attack, but was unable to immediately give the number of militant casualties.

But according to western Afghanistan police spokesman Abdul Raof Ahmadi, police and NATO-led forces who were sent to the area killed five Taliban.

There was no comment from the insurgent militia.

The Taliban, who were in government between 1996 and 2001, have previously beheaded people they accuse of spying for the government.

The insurgents were forced from power by a US-led invasion in late 2001 for sheltering Al-Qaeda members.

Tens of thousands of international troops are helping the government fight a Taliban-led insurgency.

A US-led coalition said meanwhile it had killed five militants on Tuesday after tracking them to a remote location in the same province after watching them load weapons into a vehicle from a cache in the same province, Farah.

“Coalition aircraft used precision munitions to destroy the militants, weapons and vehicle,” it said in a statement.