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Southern Afghan Governor Says 33 Taliban Killed

Assadullah Khalid (file photo) (AFP) KANDAHAR, Afghanistan; July 3, 2007 (RFE/RL) -- An Afghan governor said today that Afghan and NATO forces killed 33 Taliban militants in the southern province of Kandahar late on July 2, RFE/RL's Radio Free Afghanistan reports.

Provincial Governor Asadullah Khalid said four other suspected insurgents were arrested during the overnight operation in Zhari district.

"Following the incident, as a result of an all-night operation in the area, a group of 33 [armed] men from the enemy side were killed," Khalid said. "A variety of weapons such as rockets, PK [machine guns], Kalashinkovs, and other arms were seized from them. Four of them, including three who were injured, have been arrested."

He said today that the situation is calm and that the joint Afghan and coalition operation is over.

There were no reports of casualties among Afghan or NATO forces.

Khalid said the clash came after a roadside bomb killed eight police officers in the same area.

Kandahar was historically a stronghold of the Taliban, and southern provinces have experienced more violence than many parts of the country since the U.S.-led operation to oust the Taliban began in late 2001.

RFE/RL Afghanistan Report

RFE/RL Afghanistan Report

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