Nearly 30 killed in Afghanistan violence

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KANDAHAR, Afghanistan, Nov 16 (Reuters) Afghan forces backed by US troops killed 25 Taliban militants in clashes in the south of the country, police said today, but a roadside bomb also killed four police officers.

Taliban rebels are engaged in a guerrilla war backed by suicide bombings to sap the will of Western public opinion to keep the 50,000 foreign troops in Afghanistan without which the pro-Western Afghan government would be severely weakened.

Afghan police backed by US troops killed 20 Taliban insurgents in the Deh Rawud district of the south-central Uruzgan province overnight and another five were killed in the Nayesh area of the same province, the provincial police chief said.

But a roadside bomb killed four policemen in the Zherai district of Kandahar province today, the district chief said.

A suicide bomber blew himself up, targetting an Italian military convoy in southwestern Afghanistan, today but caused no casualties, an Afghan general said.

Violence has steadily risen in Afghanistan in the last two years since the Taliban relaunched their insurgency. There have been more clashes, more bomb attacks and more casualties this year compared to 2006, and violence has reached a wider area.

Reuters PY DB2137

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