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Afghan forces kill 18 Taliban, lose 5 of own

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July 8, 2013 04:38 AM EST | AP


KABUL, Afghanistan — Afghan officials say security forces have killed 18 Taliban and lost five of their own troops in operations in the country's east.

The Wardak provincial governor's office said 16 Taliban were killed and two arrested in a 24-hour operation that ended Monday. Two Afghan soldiers were killed and six others wounded.

In nearby Laghman province, government spokesman Sarhadi Zwak says the Afghan intelligence service launched a pre-emptive strike on a group of Taliban after learning they were preparing to attack a police checkpoint. Zwak says two militants were killed in the ensuing gunbattle and one captured; one intelligence service agent was wounded.

Just south in Nangahar, provincial spokesman Ahmad Zia Abdulzai says three Afghan national police were killed and another wounded when their checkpoint was attacked.