Two Nato soldiers killed in Afghanistan


-File photo

Two Nato soldiers were killed and three others wounded in a battle with the Taliban in eastern Afghanistan that also left up to 21 militants dead, the military force and local officials said on Friday.
A separate Nato air strike on a Taliban hideout in south-central Uruzgan province also killed 18 militants in the latest insurgency-linked violence to hit the nation, local officials said.
The troops were killed in eastern Kunar province late on Thursday when their joint Afghan army and ISAF patrol was ambushed with small-arms fire and rocket-propelled grenades, the force said.
The patrol fought back and called in air support, a statement from the Nato-led International Security Assistance Force said.
“Two service members were killed and three others were wounded during a firefight with insurgent forces,” the statement said, adding that the injured were in stable condition after being evacuated for medical treatment.
Nato does not release the nationalities of its casualties, leaving that task to their home countries, but most of the international soldiers deployed in Kunar province are American troopers.
ISAF said it had recovered the body of one militant from Thursday’s attack but the mountainous region made it difficult to confirm if more were killed.
Provincial governor Shalizay Didar said 21 militants had died. But a Taliban spokesman, Zabihullah Mujahid, said only three militants were killed, while claiming responsibility for the attack on behalf of the group.
Meanwhile, Nato forces bombed the Taliban hideout in Uruzgan overnight, acting on a tip off, the district governor told AFP.
“Eighteen Taliban were killed in the aerial bombing of Nato and their bodies are still there,” governor Fazel Bary told AFP.
In another incident, two roadside bombs struck vehicles in southern Kandahar province on Friday, killing at least one civilian and injuring seven others, the provincial police chief told AFP.
Sayed Aqa Saqib said the militants had planted six bombs along the road in the Panjwayi district. Police discovered and defused four, but two others later exploded, he said.

Copyright AFP (Agence France-Presse), 2007