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Multiple Fatalities Reported Across Afghanistan Within 24 Hours

Afghan officials say at least 17 people have been killed across the country over the space of 24 hours.

Provincial governor spokesman Mukhlis Afghan said local and foreign forces killed four insurgents wearing suicide bomber vests who attacked a U.S. base in the eastern Paktika province on January 21.

Afghan added that there were no other casualties, but Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said in an e-mailed statement to media that the insurgents had killed and wounded dozens of foreign troops in the attack in the Barmal district.

However, the Islamist group often exaggerates claims of engagements and casualties.

Elsewhere, a senior commander for the border police, Shir Ahmad Maladani, said on January 21 that four border policemen were killed in a gun battle with Taliban insurgents in the Gulran district of the western province of Herat on January 20.

A soldier with the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) also died following an insurgent attack in southern Afghanistan on January 21, the coalition said in a statement. It gave no further details of the incident.

Also on January 21, senior police detective Kamaluddin Shirzai said a roadside mine had killed four civilians and wounded two in Lashkar Gah city in the southern Helmand province.

In related news, the Afghan Interior Ministry issued a statement on January 21, saying that local security forces and foreign troops had killed four insurgents, wounded two and detained 17 during operations across the country in the previous 24 hours.