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Taliban commander killed, 8 others arrested in Afghanistan
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International troops in two separate operations in Afghanistan have killed a senior Taliban commander and detained eight suspected militants, said the statements issued by the alliance forces on Sunday.

It has been confirmed Sunday morning that a senior Taliban commander Mullah Asad was killed by the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) during a targeted operation in Southern Afghan province of Helmand on Nov. 19, the statement said.

"Mullah Asad died as a result of a successful operation by ISAF, " it said. "Asad was a senior Taliban Operational Commander for southern Helmand and was linked to numerous attacks in the Garmsir district."

"Asad's death comes three weeks after another senior commander in Garmsir Province Mullah Mashar was killed during a similar operation," it added. "these successes continue to undermine the Taliban's ability to threaten the lives of ordinary Afghan civilians in Helmand province." said Brigadier General Richard Blanchette, ISAF Spokesperson.

In the other operation in Paktika of eastern Afghanistan, the U. S.-led Coalition forces on Saturday detained eight suspected militants.

"The force searched a compound in Urgun district, targeting a Haqqani commander known to plan and conduct attacks against local civilians, Afghan and international troops," said the Coalition statement.

Spiraling conflicts and Taliban-linked insurgency have claimed over 5,000 people, mostly militants, so far this year in strife- torn Afghanistan as Taliban insurgents have vowed to intensify assaults against interests of Afghan government and international troops before the coming winter.

(Xinhua News Agency November 23, 2008)

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