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UPDATED: 14:37, September 24, 2006
15 insurgents killed in S. Afghanistan
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Fifteen rebels were killed in the southern Helmand province of Afghanistan, the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) said in a statement on Sunday.

ISAF troops received small arms fire from about 20 insurgents while operating near Gereshk village in Nowzad district, it said, adding that following a request from the ground troops, close air support soon arrived on the scene to deal with the enemy.

Fifteen insurgents were killed in the conflict on Friday and there were no ISAF casualties.

Helmand, famous for its gigantic opium product, has been a hotbed of Taliban and other anti-government militants, who clash with government and foreign troops frequently.

Due to rising Taliban-linked insurgence this year, Afghanistan has plunged into the worst spate of violence since the Taliban regime was toppled in late 2001.

Over 24,00 persons, mostly Taliban rebels, have been killed in the country in the past nine months.

Source: Xinhua

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