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Skirmishes leave 26 dead in Afghanistan
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20:11, November 18, 2008

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Conflicts and violent incidents claimed the lives of at least 26 people Monday including Taliban militants and Afghan soldiers in Afghanistan, officials said on Tuesday.

Air raids against suspected hideout of Taliban militants left 20 dead in Paktika province of eastern Afghanistan on Monday, provincial governor Mohammad Akram Khapalwak told Xinhua.

"The U.S.-led Coalition forces carried out air attacks against Taliban rebels in Barmal district on Monday evening killing 20 insurgents on the spot," Khapalwak said.

He also added that the air strike took place after the insurgents raided the camp of a road construction company and the international troops in retaliation called in air power and resultantly killed 20 rebels.

Situated close to the volatile tribal area of Pakistan, Barmal has experienced bloody violence over the past three years since Taliban staged a violent comeback.

In another development also on Monday, militants killed six soldiers, one of them beheaded, in the western Farah province, a senior military officer in west Afghanistan Fazal Ahmad Sayar said.

During the two-hour battle erupted in Bala Buluk district on Monday, five soldiers were killed and five others sustained injures and the rebels beheaded one soldier after injuring him, Sayar further stressed.

He also added that the troops inflicted casualties on the militants but could not give an exact figure.

Taliban fighters have yet to make comment.

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.

Source: Xinhua

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