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Afghan Violence Kills 14 Taliban, Eight Civilians


KABUL (Reuters) -- Afghan and foreign troops have killed 14 Taliban insurgents and eight civilians have died in a string of attacks, Afghan officials and the U.S. military said.

One U.S.-led coalition soldier was also killed in a roadside bomb attack. Violence has surged in Afghanistan, with some 3,800 people -- one-third of them civilians -- killed by the end of July this year, the United Nations said.

Already more foreign troops have been killed so far this year than in any year since U.S.-led and Afghan forces toppled the Taliban in 2001 for refusing to hand over Al-Qaeda leaders behind the September 11 attacks on the United States.

Six civilians were killed and two more wounded when their minibus hit a roadside bomb in Zana Khan district of Ghazni Province, a local official said.

"The roadside bomb was planted by insurgents who were targeting a foreign or Afghan military convoy using this road," said the governor's spokesman, Sayed Ismail Jahangir.

Separately, two civilians were killed and three wounded when a rocket landed on their home in Khost on October 12, the provincial police chief said.

"The rocket was aimed at a nearby foreign troop base," Abdul Qayum Batizoy said.

In another incident, U.S.-led coalition and Afghan troops killed five militants in an operation targeting a foreign fighters' network in Ghazni Province, about 200 kilometers southwest of Kabul, a U.S. military statement said.

Another nine Taliban insurgents were killed during a joint operation by Afghan and international troops in Ghazni's Waghaz district on October 12, said provincial Police Chief Mohammad Zaman.

On October 13, a roadside bomb killed a soldier from U.S.-led coalition forces and wounded several more in southern Afghanistan, the U.S. military said, without giving further details.
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