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Afghan Fighting Leaves 80 Dead

A Canadian soldier pictured on patrol in the city of Kandahar (file photo) (epa) May 18, 2006 -- Some 80 people are reported dead after two days of fighting in southern Afghanistan.

In Helmand Province, Afghan officials say 13 police officers and some 40 Taliban militants were killed in a Taliban attack.

In the neighboring province of Kandahar, a female Canadian soldier and some 18 Taliban militants were reported killed.

In a separate operation in Kandahar Province, U.S.-led coalition troops and planes attacked suspected militant positions, killing at least seven suspected Taliban.

Elsewhere, two suicide car bombers carried out separate attacks in the western city of Herat and in southern Ghanzi Province. One American counternarcotics adviser was killed and also an Afghan civilian.

Meanwhile, Bulgaria's government decided to send an additional 70-strong contingent to Afghanistan for five months. Bulgaria currently has 66 soldiers based around Kabul serving as part of the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force.

(compiled from agency reports)

RFE/RL Afghanistan Report

RFE/RL Afghanistan Report

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