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NATO, Afghan Troops Kill 34 Taliban

Violence has increased in Afghanistan, despite the arrival of more U.S. and foreign troops in recent months.
KHOST, Afghanistan (Reuters) -- NATO and Afghan police attacked a gathering point for Taliban insurgents in Afghanistan's southeastern Paktika Province and killed 34 of them, a spokesman for the provincial governor has said.

In the overnight raid on the village of Sayed Khan, NATO and Afghan police initially killed 15 Taliban fighters in a face-to-face clash and more died in a subsequent air strike, spokesman Hamidullah Zwak said.

"In total, 34 Taliban were killed in the fighting and air raid. Only one NATO soldier was wounded," he said.

There were no casualties among police or civilians from the operation, which occurred in an area close to the border with Pakistan, he said.

A spokesman for NATO in southeastern Afghanistan confirmed the operation, but put the number of militants killed at 27.

The Taliban could not be reached immediately for comment and Reuters had no way to verify the report independently.

Violence has escalated in recent months in Afghanistan, despite a rise in the number of foreign troops on the ground to fight a resurgent Taliban insurgency.