U.S., Afghan troops kill five Taliban in southeastern Afghanistan, officials say

Friday, July 2nd 2004, 6:13 am
By: News On 6

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) _ U.S. and Afghan troops battled rebels in a mountainous Taliban stronghold, killing five and capturing seven, officials said Friday.

Four other people were reported killed in separate clashes in Uruzgan province.

The first clash occurred Wednesday near Daychopan, 190 miles southwest of Kabul, said Ali Khel, a spokesman for the provincial government.

U.S. spokesman Maj. Rick Peat said one Afghan soldier was injured in the fighting, which broke out when a joint U.S.-Afghan patrol encountered a group of militants.

Peat said the detained fighters were carrying rocket-propelled grenades and homemade bombs.

Daychopan has been the focus of some of the most bloody fighting in almost a year. U.S. and Afghan officials say they have killed about 100 militants in the region since late May.

In neighboring Uruzgan province, three civilians died Friday in a Taliban assault on a government office in Deh Rawood, 260 miles southwest of Kabul, Mayor Amir Shah Jan said.

Jan said two soldiers were wounded in the pre-dawn battle with some 40 assailants armed with rockets and guns. Three men sleeping in the office were killed.

None of the attackers was hurt, Jan said.

Meanwhile, U.S. troops killed an elderly man who opened fire on their patrol vehicles with an assault rifle in a remote village, another Afghan official said.

``The old man came out of his house and started shooting with an AK-47,'' said Sayed Rasool Khan, the mayor of Char Cheno district. ``The Americans killed him on the spot.''

No U.S. soldiers were hurt, he said.

American military officials had no immediate comment.