Source AP ©

Six militants and four policemen killed in Afghanistan

A clash between U.S.-led coalition and Taliban militants left 6 people dead in Afghanistan. A roadside bomb killed four policemen.

Acting on intelligence reports, the coalition and Afghan forces were conducting a raid on a compound suspected of housing Taliban fighters near the eastern city of Jalalabad when they came under fire, the coalition said in a statement.

It said a brief gunbattle killed six militants and wounded another, and that no civilians or coalition forces were wounded.

Four militants were detained for questioning, the statement said.

International and Afghan forces have launched several raids on suspected Taliban compounds in the eastern border provinces, killing and arresting suspects and seizing weapons caches in an effort to pre-empt militant attacks.

In nearby Khost province, Afghan and coalition forces searched two separate compounds and arrested three suspected al-Qaida militants early Tuesday, the coalition said. It said no shots were fired and no one was injured in the operation.

In the southern province of Uruzgan, a roadside bomb killed four policemen and wounded another early Wednesday, said provincial police chief Gen. Abdul Qassim Khan.

In Helmand province, two private security guards were killed by a roadside bomb Tuesday while guarding a road construction project, said Rahmatullah Khan, a police official.

In Kabul, between 200 and 300 demonstrators - many of them women - gathered in front of the offices of the United Nations, holding posters and banners and chanting slogans calling for female lawmaker Malalai Joya to be reinstated to her parliament seat.

Lawmakers voted out Joya this month over comments she made comparing parliamentarians to animals. Lawmakers said Joya violated a parliament rule that bars them from criticizing one another.

Joya has repeatedly referred to members of parliament as criminals, warlords and drug lords. Many former commanders involved in factional fighting in the 1980s and 1990s now hold positions in parliament or the administration.

A U.N. spokesman, Aleem Siddique, said the protesters gave the U.N. a petition calling for Joya to be reinstated. The U.N., he said, was not taking sides in the debate but wanted the rule of law and due process to be followed.

Joya, 29, has said she was suspended until the end of parliament's session in 2010, but is waiting for the Supreme Court to make a final decision as to whether her ouster is valid.

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