Afghan forces kill two Taliban commander-ministry

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KABUL, Sep 22 (Reuters) Afghan forces killed a number of Taliban militants and wounded two others during operations in southern Afghanistan, the Defence Ministry said in a statement today.

Among those killed yesterday's operation were two provincial-level Taliban commanders named Mullah Waseem and Mullah Abdullah, who were involved in ''sabotaging activities'' in Wardak province, the statement said.

On the same day, government forces detained Mullah Qaderi, leader of 15 insurgents in Nirkh district of Wardak province, it added.

Southern Afghanistan has seen a sharp rise in violence during the past year-and-a-half, with daily clashes between Taliban insurgents and Afghan and foreign forces.

Elsewhere, two Afghan police and three Taliban were killed, and three policemen wounded when Taliban attacked an Afghan police checkpoint in the Khan Abad district of Kunduz province today, the provincial governor said.

More than 7,000 people have been killed during the past 19 months, the bloodiest period since the Taliban government was overthrown by Afghan and US-led forces in 2001.

REUTERS SBC KN1817

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