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Two Taliban Commanders, 30 Fighters Killed In Afghanistan

(RFE/RL) KABUL, 3 February 2006 (RFE/RL) -- Afghan Interior Ministry spokesman Yusof Stanizai told RFE/RL today that two Taliban leaders were among those killed in ongoing fighting between government troops and militants in Afghanistan's southern Helmand Province.

Stanizai told RFE/RL's Afghan Service, "Two well-known Taliban commanders, Mullah Torjan and Haji Nasru, are among those enemy forces who were killed today [during clashes in Helmand]."

Stanizai also told RFE/RL that at least 30 Taliban militants were killed in the fighting.

Stanizai said coalition forces on the ground were supported by U.S. air strikes during a series of battles that started on 2 February. Stanizai confirmed that three Afghan police were also killed in the clashes.

Helmand Deputy Governor Mullah Mir said the battle was still in progress today and that the government has sent reinforcements to the area. He said there were some 200 Taliban militants involved in the fighting.

Helmand Province has been a haven for insurgents. Clashes between government forces and militants are common.

(RFE/RL's Afghan Service, Reuters, AFP)

Foreign Minister Abdullah Abdullah

Foreign Minister Abdullah Abdullah

Abdullah Abdullah (epa)

Afghan Foreign Minister ABDULLAH ABDULLAH on January 21 spoke by telephone with RFE/RL Afghan Service correspondent Zarif Nazar. Abdullah discussed the most recent videotaped message from Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, the current state of the Taliban, terrorist attacks in Afghanistan, and the upcoming London conference on the Afghanistan Compact.

To read the complete interview,click here.