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Last Updated: Wednesday, 5 July 2006, 15:55 GMT 16:55 UK
US Afghan raid 'kills 35 Taleban'
US soldiers in Helmand province, Afghanistan
Coalition troops in Helmand are battling a revitalised Taleban
US-led forces in Afghanistan say they have killed about 35 militants in a raid on a "known Taleban compound" in the south of the country.

The raid took place in the restive province of Helmand on Tuesday night, the force said in a statement.

Afghanistan has seen an upsurge in violence by the Taleban and their allies this year, with hundreds killed.

The capital, Kabul, was hit by blasts for a second day when triple bombings killed one and wounded at least 40.

Buses carrying Afghan army officers and government workers were the target.


The Taleban claimed responsibility for both Tuesday and Wednesday's attacks.

The Afghan defence ministry said its enemies were trying to "disturb and terrify the people" because they do not have the ability to face the national army.

Army 'targeted'

The US military said Tuesday night's raid in Helmand took place in the village of Gujdar, some 25km (16 miles) east of Musa Qala in the south of the province.

Sangin map

"Several of the extremists killed were area Taleban leaders who planned and conducted multiple attacks against local Afghans, government officials and coalition forces," it said.

"No injuries to coalition forces or non-combatants were observed during the strike."

Elsewhere in Helmand on Wednesday, a British soldier from the 3 Para Battle Group died after his patrol came under fire from "suspected Taleban forces" in the town of Sangin, the Ministry of Defence said.

He is the sixth British soldier to be killed in Afghanistan in recent weeks.

Shops 'on fire'

The first explosion in Kabul struck a bus carrying Afghan army officers to work in the city centre. Thirty-nine officers were wounded, the defence ministry said.

It was lucky the bus was not full or else there would have been more casualties
Defence Ministry spokesman Mohammed Zahir Azimi

Reports say the bus veered out of control and crashed into shops, setting them on fire.

The second explosion struck another bus that was carrying commerce ministry employees in the north of the city. One person was killed and several wounded.

A third explosion in eastern Kabul is said to have targeted an Afghan army convoy. There were no immediate reports of casualties.

The first two explosions were apparently caused by bombs going off in hand carts as the buses passed by.

The blast hit buses carrying government employees to work
The blast hit buses carrying government employees to work

A BBC correspondent at the scene described seeing people jumping out of the smashed windows of the bus, their clothes on fire.

A day earlier, seven people were injured in two similar explosions.

Taleban spokesman, Muhammad Hanif, told Reuters news agency the Kabul attacks "proved we can hit targets, whether they're under the surveillance and security of foreign forces or the government".

Afghanistan has seen in recent months the worst violence from the Taleban since they were forced from power in 2001.

Most of the bloodshed has been in the south and east.

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