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Canadian troops kill up to 20 Taliban

Written by: Staff

KANDAHAR, Afghanistan, May 1 (Reuters) Canadian troops killed up to 20 Taliban insurgents who were preparing to ambush a military convoy in southern Afghanistan, a Canadian military spokesman today said.

Violence has intensified in Afghanistan in recent months with scores of people killed in clashes and roadside and suicide blasts as NATO members, including Canada and Britain, build up troop numbers in the dangerous south.

''Our convoy using night-vision optics on their vehicle were able to see three vehicles preparing for an ambush,'' Canadian spokesman, Major Marc Theriault, said of the Saturday night clash.

The convoy was travelling to a forward operating base in the Sangin district of Helmand province when the insurgents were spotted, he said.

Canadian forces attacked and destroyed the three vehicles which contained 15 to 20 insurgents, he said. No Canadians were hurt.

Canada has about 2,200 troops based in the southern province of Kandahar, who, for now, are part of a U S-led force battling insurgents and hunting for their leaders.

The Canadians, and about 3,300 British troops who are going to be based in Helmand, will come under the command of a NATO peacekeeping force, when the NATO expands into the south, which is expected in late July.

A blast hit a foreign military convoy in Kandahar today slightly wounding two foreign soldiers, one of them an American, Afghan police and a U S military spokeswoman said.

Police officer Raz Mohammad said a suicide attacker in a car rammed a military vehicle but the U S military spokeswoman said the blast was caused by a roadside bomb. She did not know the nationality of the second wounded person.

In a separate incident, a suicide attacker in a car rammed a foreign military vehicle in Tirin Kot, the capital of Uruzgan province, to the north of Kandahar, wounding a U S soldier and killing two civilians, Afghan officials said.

Four Canadian soldiers were killed in a roadside bomb blast in another part of Kandahar on April 22.


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