Source AP ©

Two NATO troops killed in Afghanistan

At least 20 insurgents were reported to have died coalition airstrikes and ground battles. But two NATO soldiers were also killed in restive southern Afghanistan on Wednesday.

The fighting on Tuesday and Wednesday came after Afghan forces claimed to have killed a Taliban commander involved in the kidnapping of 23 South Korean church workers in central Afghanistan in July.

Taliban-led militants are waging a bloody resistance campaign against the Western-supported government of President Hamid Karzai, which replaced the hard-line Islamic militia after the U.S. invasion in 2001.

The two dead soldiers were from NATO's International Security Assistance Force, the alliance said in a statement. It said another ISAF soldier and an interpreter were injured, but gave no more details, including the soldiers' nationalities.

Afghan and coalition soldiers in Shah Wali Kot district, in southern Kandahar province, came under attack while on patrol Tuesday. They fought back before calling in air support, a coalition statement said.

"Surgical and precision airstrikes were carried out on positively identified enemy positions from where machine gun and rocket-propelled grenade fire was originating," the statement said. "Over a dozen insurgents were killed in this engagement."

About 30 kilometers (18 miles) away, insurgents sheltering in a traditional low-walled Afghan compound attacked another joint patrol on Tuesday. Airstrikes later pounded the position, killing six insurgents, the statement said.

In Ghazni province, insurgents early Wednesday attacked a joint coalition and Afghan force, triggering a clash that left "several militants" dead, a coalition statement said. A number of civilians were injured in the clash, the coalition said.

In the southern Helmand province, a remotely controlled bomb exploded under a police vehicle in Gereshk district Wednesday, killing two police and wounding three, said Abdul Manan, a local official.

On Tuesday, Afghan officials claimed to have killed a Taliban commander called Mullah Mateen, who they said was involved the kidnapping of the South Koreans on July 19. The Taliban denied the claim.

Two of the South Koreans were killed soon after the kidnapping, two were released in August, while the remaining 19 were freed last week after Seoul repeated a long-standing commitment to withdraw its 200 troops by year's end, and prevent Christian missionaries from traveling to Afghanistan.

Afghan authorities often make claims they have killed Taliban commanders that turn out to be false. Taliban spokesmen have also downplayed or lied about the extent of their battlefield losses.

Comments
Russian Navy admiral says Russia will torpedo US warships, if need be
The horror story called Brazil: Murder and destruction
Russia close to recognising Donetsk and Luhansk republics after Donbass elections
Five years after Maidan revolution, Ukraine remains one of Europe's most corrupt states
Why Trump tries to re-industrialize America
USA plays to pretend a mighty dragon that can no longer breathe fire
US interferes in election of Interpol president, Kremlin believes
US interferes in election of Interpol president, Kremlin believes
Five years after Maidan revolution, Ukraine remains one of Europe's most corrupt states
Brexit: The UK's misunderstanding of Democracy
Kuril Islands dispute between Russia and Japan: The impossible is impossible
Argentina hides the truth about the death of San Juan submarine
Japan ratifies agreement to supply weapons and ammo to warring states
Russia to ban capture of killer whales and belugas in 2019
Russia to raise sunken floating dock
Why Trump tries to re-industrialize America
Kuril Islands dispute between Russia and Japan: The impossible is impossible
Putin dislikes the idea of US army bases coming to Kuril Islands
Argentina hides the truth about the death of San Juan submarine
USA plays to pretend a mighty dragon that can no longer breathe fire
Russians lose faith in their future, get ready for worse