Afghanistan: 43 militants killed
KABUL, Afghanistan – A series of clashes in southern Afghanistan left 43 suspected Taliban militants dead, while a roadside bomb killed two NATO soldiers, officials said Saturday.Twenty-three Taliban militants were killed during a U.S.-led coalition operation aimed at disrupting a weapons transfer in southern Afghanistan, the coalition said Saturday.A truck apparently full of Taliban weapons exploded during the operation in Helmand province’s Garmsir district. Coalition troops detained 11 people suspected of being part of a weapons running operation.Meanwhile, a roadside bomb in the south killed two NATO soldiers and their translator on Saturday, the alliance said in a statement. Three other NATO soldiers were wounded in the blast that hit their vehicle, the statement said.The nationalities of the NATO dead and wounded was not disclosed, nor the location of the bombing.In Kandahar province, Canadian and Afghan troops battled militants and called in airstrikes in Zhari district on Saturday, leaving at least 20 suspected militants dead, said provincial police chief, Sayed Agha Saqeb. An Afghan soldier was also killed, he said.In the western province of Ghor, meanwhile, at least four police were killed Friday after militants attacked them during a police operation in Shahark district, Gen. Shah Jahon Noori, the provincial police chief, said Saturday. Noori said an unknown number of police were missing after the attack and five were wounded.Separately, a suicide bomber on a motorbike attacked a NATO convoy in Nangarhar province’s Chaparhar district on Saturday, killing an Afghan civilian and wounding another NATO soldier, officials said. The bomber was killed in the blast which also left two civilians wounded, said Noor Agha Zuwak, a spokesman for the provincial governor.Afghanistan has seen record levels of violence this year. More than 5,800 people have been killed in insurgency related violence in 2007, according to an Associated Press count based on figures from Western and Afghan officials.–Associated Press Writer Noor Khan in Kandahar contributed to this report.