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Last Updated: Tuesday, 7 August 2007, 16:07 GMT 17:07 UK
Taleban in rare frontal assault
US troops in Afghanistan
The normal tactic of the Taleban is to fire and retreat
US-led forces in Afghanistan say they have fended off a rare frontal attack on a coalition base, killing at least 20 Taleban rebels.

The US military said about 75 militants tried to overrun Camp Anaconda in the southern province of Uruzgan.

US and Afghan forces responded with mortars, machinegun fire and an air strike. Two Afghan troops were hurt.

There are more than 50,000 US and other coalition troops fighting with Afghan soldiers against Taleban militants.

Kandahar attack

Four civilians, including two young girls, were hurt by rebel rocket-propelled grenades during the attack, the coalition said.

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Coalition forces spokeswoman Capt Vanessa Bowman said: "This attack shows the desperation that the Taleban must be experiencing in their attempt to overthrow the duly elected government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan."

Remote bases like Anaconda are often staffed with only a few dozen troops.

"The inability of the insurgent forces to inflict any severe damage on Anaconda, while being simultaneously decimated in the process, should be a clear indication of the ineffectiveness of their fighters," Capt Bowman said.

The normal tactic of the rebels is to open fire on bases and retreat or use roadside bombs and other improvised explosive devices.

Southern Uruzgan province is one of the hotbeds of combat between the rebels and coalition forces.

In a separate incident in Kandahar province, rebels ambushed a police convoy.

Six policemen and 15 militants were killed, Kandahar police said.


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