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Twenty-One Afghan Militants Reported Killed

8 June 2004 -- A provincial governor says U.S. and Afghan forces killed at least 21 suspected Taliban fighters in Afghanistan today after the militants ambushed a convoy of U.S. Marines.

Uruzgan Province Governor Jan Mohammad Khan said the convoy was ambushed by more than 100 suspected Taliban in neighboring Zabul Province. He said the U.S. and Afghan soldiers were backed up by U.S. warplanes.

U.S. military spokesman Eric Dent said U.S. Marines continued fighting in central Afghanistan today, but he did not report a death toll or the exact location. Dent said four fighters were captured, and that five Marines and two Afghan soldiers were wounded in the clash.

Also today, Interior Ministry spokesman Lutfullas Mashal said at least four fighters loyal to rival Shi'a and Sunni Muslim factions were killed in a clash yesterday in northern Afghanistan.