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Seven Afghan Civilians Killed in Battle Between Militants, Coalition

  • VOA News

The U.S. military in Afghanistan says seven civilians were killed and three wounded in a gunbattle between coalition forces and insurgents in eastern Kunar province.

A military statement says the fighting erupted late Saturday in an area where coalition and Afghan troops began "Operation Mountain Lion" against militants. An investigation is underway into the civilian deaths.

In other violence, Taleban militants attacked at least two police checkpoints in southern Afghanistan overnight. The two sides gave different accounts of casualties. Afghan officials say 14 Taleban were killed and there were no casualties among the police. A purported spokesman for the Taleban said at least seven policemen and two Taleban were killed.

In a separate incident, a Taleban ambush Saturday killed a district governor in Helmand province.

Meanwhile, security forces continue to comb an area southwest of Kandahar city, searching for insurgents who may have escaped after a battle that killed 41 Taleban fighters and six policemen Friday.

A U.S. military spokesman says U.S.-led coalition forces, including helicopter gunships, provided support to Afghan units in the operation.

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