Three soldiers, 12 Taliban militants killed in Afghanistan


Kabul : Three army soldiers were killed when a roadside bomb exploded in eastern Afghanistan, while 12 Taliban militants including two rebel commanders were killed in separate clashes, the military said Sunday.

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Four other Afghan soldiers were wounded Saturday when their vehicle was blown up by a remote-controlled roadside bomb in Zurmat district of south-eastern province of Paktia, the defence ministry said in a statement.

Two of the soldiers with “severe wounds” were evacuated to a coalition hospital in the province and two others were released from an army hospital after treatment, it said.

The US-led coalition forces also confirmed the incident and said that Afghan commando forces arrested six suspects.

Rebels also fired rockets at an Afghan army base in Angoor Adah area of neighbouring Paktika province near the Pakistan border but caused no casualties, the ministry statement said.

Troops pinpointed the insurgent location and responded with heavy artillery, killing five militants, including their commander Abdul Jabar, and their comrades took the bodies across the border, it said.

Afghan and international military officials have repeatedly claimed that Taliban militants retreat to rear bases in Pakistani tribal areas after attacking Afghan and foreign forces in the country.

US President Barack Obama said Friday said the new US strategy was “to disrupt, dismantle and defeat Al-Qaeda and Taliban in Pakistan and Afghanistan”, and called the border region between the two countries as “the most dangerous place in the world”.

Seven other Taliban militants were killed in a separate clash with Afghan forces backed by NATO soldiers in Gerishk district of southern Helmand province Saturday, the army statement said.

It said local rebel commander Abdul Ahmad was killed.

In the northern province of Kunduz a roadside bomb was detonated Saturday as a convoy of German forces was passing by, German sources said in Berlin.

The blast caused no casualties or damage to the military vehicles, the sources said.

Fighting is on the rise in southern and eastern regions of Afghanistan, where Taliban militants are most active.