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25 Insurgents Killed in South Afghanistan
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At least 25 insurgents were killed on Wednesday in the southern Helmand province of Afghanistan, said a spokesman of the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF).

Maj. Luke Knittig told Xinhua that according to reports from Afghan security department, the militants were killed by Afghan police and troops in Garmser district at around 8:30 AM local time.

He said the insurgents attacked a police post in the district with small arm fire, and the police and troops fought back, killing at least 25 militants.

Garmser, located in eastern Helmand, has been a hotbed of Taliban and other militants. The Taliban occupied the district center briefly several times in the past months.

One civilian was injured in a suicide car bombing apparently targeting ISAF troops in Dorahi area of the neighboring Kandahar province.

Also on Wednesday, a leader of a terrorist cell was captured in the eastern Kunar province of Afghanistan by Afghan and the US-led coalition forces on Wednesday, said a coalition statement.

The terrorist, who led a cell carrying out Improvised Explosive Device (IED) attacks against Afghan and coalition troops, was arrested in south of Asadabad, the provincial capital.

"The known IED cell member manufactured several IEDs and was responsible for placing devices in various locations in the Pech Valley region," the statement said.

Credible and strong intelligence indicated the terrorist was planning to attack the troops in the immediate future, it added.

A coalition spokesman John Paradis said, "This is a positive development in that a key terrorist facilitator has been detained, his actions thwarted and his future plans disrupted."

No casualties were reported in the capturing operation.

Due to rising Taliban-linked insurgence this year, Afghanistan has plunged into the worst spate of violence since the Taliban regime was toppled in late 2001.

Over 2,400 persons, mostly Taliban rebels, have been killed in this Central Asian country in the past nine months.

(Xinhua News Agency September 28, 2006)

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