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Last Updated: Tuesday, 5 June 2007, 11:50 GMT 12:50 UK
'Taleban killed' in Afghan clash
Afghan national army soldiers stand guard during a search operation near Daychopan village in Zabul province, south-eastern Afghanistan.
Many US and Afghan troops are deployed north of Kandahar city
US-led forces and Afghan troops have killed an estimated two dozen Taleban militants near the southern city of Kandahar, a coalition statement says.

Troops came under attack in Shah Wali Kot district, it said. The Taleban said none of their fighters were killed but that 27 US and Afghan troops died.

Neither side's claims could be independently verified.

Violence in Afghanistan has returned to levels not seen since the fall of the Taleban regime in 2001.

Some 4,000 people are believed to have died last year in the insurgency - about a quarter of them civilians.

The coalition statement said the battle took place on Monday, lasting four hours, and they used fighter aircraft to bomb enemy targets.

"Coalition close air support was requested and munitions were dropped on three enemy positions," the coalition said in a statement.

There were no reports of Afghan civilian injuries, the statement added.

The fighting took place about 22 miles (35kms) north of Kandahar city where a large number of coalition troops are deployed and which also sees regular attacks by Taleban militants.

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