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    15 Taliban killed in south

    GHAZNI CITY / LASHKARGAH (PAN): Two commanders were among 15 Taliban insurgents killed during separate operations by Afghan and international forces in southern Afghanistan, officials said on Monday.

    A local Taliban commander, Saleem, was among five fighters killed on Sunday night in a NATO air strike in Khozi area of Maqur district of Ghazni province, detective police chief, Col. Ghani Khan, told Pajhwok Afghan News.

    A rocket launcher, a machine gun and three Kalashnikovs were recovered from the militants, he added.

    However the Maqur district chief, Sahib Khan, said nine Taliban fighters were killed in the air strike, adding they were going to plant a roadside bomb when they were targeted.

    Taliban spokesman, Zabihullah Mujahid, confirmed the deaths of two of their fighters, adding three civilians were also killed in the attack.

    Maqur district is about 100 kilometres south of the provincial capital, Ghazni city, and is one of the most violent districts of the province.

    Elsewhere a Taliban commander was killed by NATO-led coalition forces on Friday in Nad Ali district of the southern province of Helmand, the forces said in a statement on Monday.

    The commander was conducting attacks on security personnel, acting as a facilitator for roadside bombs and was a senior tactical-level commander with high-level Taliban connections in the district, the statement added.

    Five Taliban fighters were killed on Sunday night in an air strike in the Mullah Adam area of Sangin district of the province, the governor's spokesman, Daud Ahmadi, said.

    He added the insurgents were planting bombs when NATO helicopters targeted them, but Taliban has denied the claim.

    myn/cas