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    8 commanders among 21 fighters killed in Helmand

    LASHKARGHAH (PAN): Eight commanders were among 21 Taliban fighters killed during an operation in the southern province of Helmand, the governor's office said on Tuesday.

    The operation was launched on Monday night in Sofla area of Kajaki district, a statement from the governor's office said.

    According to intelligence reports, a gathering of Taliban fighters led by Mullah Abdul Mutalib, a closed fried of Helmand shadow governor, Mullah Baris, was in progress when NATO aircraft bombed the gathering, the statement added.

    Mullah Qayum, a Taliban designated district chief for Sangin, Mullah Khan Muhammad, Maulvi Younus, Mullah Yousuf and other commanders were among the 17 people died in the air strike, the statement added.

    Separately, the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) killed Mullah Mirwais alias Sabir, Mullah Ashraf alias Lala and Mullah Shahzada alias Ezat in another airstrike in Nad Ali district on Monday night, the statement added.

    The commanders were accused of attacking Afghan and foreign troops and carrying out roadside bomb attacks and other disruptive activities, the statement said.

    Taliban spokesman, Qari Yousuf Ahmadi, said nothing about the airstrikes, but claimed that they had killed many foreign soldiers in Kajaki and Sangin districts of Helmand.