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Last Updated: Monday, 3 October 2005, 11:59 GMT 12:59 UK
Afghan troops kill '31 Taleban'
At least 31 suspected Taleban militants have been killed in clashes with government troops in south-east Afghanistan, officials say.

Defence Ministry spokesman Gen Mohammed Zaher Azimi said fighting erupted after insurgents attacked an Afghan army post near Angore Adda in Paktika province.

At least four government troops were injured in the battle near the Pakistan border, which lasted over four hours.

It was the heaviest reported fighting since elections two weeks ago.

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Gen Azimi said 28 militants had been killed in fighting on Sunday night. Three others were killed in a separate clash in the province earlier in the day.

"As a result of our counter-attack, 28 enemy bodies have been recovered," he told Reuters news agency.

The US military, which has a base in the area, said US troops had not been involved in the fighting.

Bloodshed

More than 1,000 people have been killed in violence linked to militancy in Afghanistan this year.

Most of those killed have been suspected militants, but more than 80 US troops have also died, about 50 of them in hostile fire.

A number of civilians and election candidates and workers have also been killed.

The bloodshed has predominantly been in southern and eastern areas near Pakistan - prompting accusations from Kabul that Islamabad is failing to curb cross-border militant incursions.

Islamabad denies the claims and points to the thousands of troops it has sent to unruly tribal areas on its side of the mountainous border area.

Afghanistan's parliamentary and provincial elections on 18 September were hailed as a landmark in the process to bring democracy after years of war.

The counting of votes is still continuing.


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FROM OTHER NEWS SITES:
Washington PostPakistan Arrests Taliban Agent - 10 hrs ago
Jerusalem Post Pakistan arrests Taliban spokesman - 17 hrs ago
Sydney Morning HeraldAussie digger injured in Afghan battle - 23 hrs ago
Arab News Fighting Kills 31 Taleban Near Pakistan Border - 30 hrs ago
New York Times Insurgents Attack Afghan Military Base - 32 hrs ago
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