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16 militants killed by Afghan, NATO troops in E province

07-04-2011 15:09 BJT

JALALABAD, Afghanistan, July 4 (Xinhua) -- Afghan forces backed by NATO-led troops eliminated 16 insurgents in Nangarhar province 120 km east of capital city Kabul on Sunday night, a local official said Monday.

"Afghan and NATO-led troops launched a joint operation against Taliban hideouts in Margi Khil village of Khogyani district Sunday night, as a result 16 rebels were killed," governor of Khogyani district Mohammad Hassan told Xinhua.

The majority of those killed during the operation are foreign fighters, Hassan said but did not give more details.

Meantime, Zabihullah Mujahid who claims to speak for the Taliban outfit in talks with media via telephone from undisclosed location confirmed the operation and said 13 Taliban were killed in the gun battle that lasted for several hours.

However, he stressed that over 20 Afghan and U.S. soldiers were killed in the fight, a claim rejected by Mohammad Hassan as groundless.

The NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in a statement released here on Monday said that 15 insurgents were killed during a combined Afghan-NATO forces operation in Sherzad district of Nangarhar province on Sunday.

Editor:Wang Xiaomei |Source: Xinhua

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