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32 insurgents killed in E. Afghanistan
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The US-led Coalition forces on Tuesday killed 32 armed insurgents including one female during an operation to disrupt the Taliban's roadside bomb network in eastern Afghan province of Laghman, said a Coalition statement released in Kabul on Wednesday.

Coalition forces targeted a Taliban roadside bomb cell responsible for numerous attacks in Alishang district, some 100 km northeast of Afghan capital city of Kabul, the statement said.

"During the operation, as many as 75 armed militants exited their compounds and attempted to converge on the force, while Coalition forces chose to fight through the skirmish with small-arms fire to minimize the potential for innocent causalities," it said.

Further search of the compound discovered two large caches of weapons, explosives and other roadside bomb-making material including AK-47s, rocket-propelled grenades, PKM machine guns and many blocks of explosives bundled together, it added.

"Removal of these militants and their weapon caches prevented countless roadside bombs while protecting more than 60,000 innocent Afghans of Alishang District from the Taliban's in discriminate killing," said Col Jerry O'Hara, a US Forces spokesperson.

Conflicts and Taliban-linked insurgency have left more than 5, 000 people dead with some 2,000 civilians and 293 foreign troops in 2008, despite some 70,000-strong international troops stationed in militancy-plagued Afghanistan.

(Xinhua News Agency January 7, 2009)

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