Afghan forces kill two Taliban commanders-ministry

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

Among those killed in 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, the leader of 15 insurgents who was involved in ''terrorist activities'' in the Nirkh district of Wardak province, the statement 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.

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 AS1418

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