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    18 suspected rebels dead in Paktia offensive

    PAKTIA (PAN): Eighteen insurgents were killed and 16 others detained during separate overnight operations in southeastern Paktia province, officials said on Monday.

    Three rebels were killed and eight others arrested in a joint Afghan-coalition offensive in the Ali Ahmadkhel area of Waza Zadran district, Brig. Gen. Abdul Ghafar Safi, the police chief, told Pajhwok Afghan News.

    Safi added 15 fighters were also killed and eight others netted in another joint operation in the Balkhel area of Janikhel district.

    While searching for a Haqqani network leader in Zadran district, the security force encountered several armed militants, the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) said in a statement, adding several suspected militants were killed and some of them were seized along with some weapons.

    A Taliban spokesman, Zabihullah Mujahid, denied the operation in Zadran district, saying civilians were killed and detained in the Jani Khel district. He rejected any casualties to rebels.

    Separately, a rebel was killed in northern Kunduz City, the ISAF’s statement added. As the troops approached a building, the armed individual attempted to engage the force and was killed. Numerous suspects were arrested and a homemade bomb-making facility destroyed.

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