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Troops reclaim Afghan district, 28 rebels dead

Coalition and Afghan troops on Wednesday retook control of a remote Afghan district in the northeast after fierce fighting that left 28 Taliban rebels dead, officials said.

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US soldiers fire mortars at attacking Taliban forces in Nuristan. Nuristan is a highly volatile area of eastern Afghanistan

The Taliban had earlier captured western parts of Do Ab district in troubled Nuristan province, which borders Pakistan, and threatened to overrun the entire area, Nuristan governor Jamaludin Badr said.

But the defence ministry later said that Afghan troops were dropped from helicopters to fight around the district and “without any delay cleared the district from the enemies of Afghanistan’s people”.

A spokesman for the Afghan interior ministry, Zemarai Bashary, said that 28 rebels were killed and 24 others injured.

Bashary said two members of the Afghan security forces were injured in the fighting, but Badr, the governor, said that three police officers had died in clashes over the past 24 hours.

“Currently, Afghan security forces are stationed in the district (and) life has returned to normal,” the defence ministry added in a statement.

Badr confirmed this, while a spokesman for the Nato-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) said the operation was a combined one, featuring a foreign air support team and ground forces.

Nuristan is a highly volatile area of eastern Afghanistan, which along with the south is the region worst hit by the nearly ten-year-long Taliban insurgency.

Filed in: World News

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