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10 rebels killed in Afghanistan
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Ten rebels were killed and 18 others were arrested by Afghan troops backed by the U.S.-led Coalition during joint operations against militant activities in eastern and southern region, said a Coalition statement released in Kabul on Sunday.

The combined forces of Afghan National Police (ANP) and Coalition forces on Saturday targeted the Al-Qaeda and Haqqani foreign fighter networks in Zurmat district of eastern Afghan province of Paktiya, the statement said.

"During the operation, one significant Al-Qaeda associated militant, known to finance militant operations and to assist Taliban leaders with the movement, was arrested along with other seven insurgents," it said, adding " clash also left five insurgents dead on the spot."

It said that searches conducted during the operations revealed rocket propelled grenades (RPGs), several dozen hand grenades, multiple AK-47s and other military equipment which were destroyed to prevent future use.

Meanwhile, ANP and Coalition forces netted a Haqqani militant known to facilitate the movement of foreign fighters into the region in Khost province of eastern Afghanistan.

"During the combined operation, the force discovered 10 additional males believed to be militants and seeking safe heaven as they move into Terezai District to conduct attacks," it said.

In another incident in the south region, Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) and Coalition forces on Friday killed five militants in Shaheed District of Uruzgan province in southern Afghanistan, the statement added.

"As ANSF and Coalition forces began searching a compound while conducting a foot patrol, they engaged militants with small-arms fire, killing five during the battle," it said.

"No ANSF, Coalition forces or civilian casualties have been reported," it added.

Moreover, one soldier with the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force was killed by roadside bombing Saturday while patrolling in southern Afghanistan, said an ISAF statement released on Sunday.

However, it did not provide any further information on the incident, saying "it is ISAF policy not to release the nationality of any casualty prior to the relevant national authority doing so."

Spiraling conflicts and Taliban-linked insurgency have claimed over 5,000 people's lives mostly insurgents so far this year in the country.

(Xinhua News Agency November 17, 2008)

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