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Afghan Soldiers Battle Suspected Taliban Rebels

19 April 2005 -- Afghan soldiers have reportedly battled suspected Taliban rebels in what the AP news agency is calling some of the heaviest fighting in Afghanistan in months.

An Afghan military spokesman said Afghan troops -- conducting a sweep in the mountains of southern Zabul Province -- had exchanged fire with the rebels, killing eight and capturing sixteen. He said among those killed and captured were Chechens and Arabs.

The military spokesman also said U.S. warplanes had provided air support and that some of the captured militants were turned over to U.S. forces.

However, a spokeswoman for the U.S. military said that as of last night there were no reports of fighting in Zabul Province.