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Over 20 Taliban insurgents killed in S. Afghanistan
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Afghan and international troops on Friday launched a joint military operation in southern Afghan province of Zabul leaving at least 24 Taliban insurgents dead and eight others injured, said an official on Saturday. Gulab Shah Alikhil, the deputy governor of Zabul province told Xinhua that the combined troops carried out an clean up operation in Sarkhagan area, outskirt of the Qalat district, where they engaged with Taliban militants then called in air support.

"There were not casualties on Afghan and international troops," Alikhil said.

Taliban have yet to make any comment.

Conflicts and Taliban-related violence have left more than 380 people dead so far this year in Afghanistan, where Taliban militants recently have vowed to launch the "Spring offensive" to intensify their guerrilla-style attacks on national army and foreign troops.

(Xinhua News Agency April 12, 2008)

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