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    16 insurgent killed in Nuristan operation

    JALALABAD (PAN): Officials in eastern Nuristan province said on Saturday that 16 insurgents, including two Taliban leaders, were killed during a combined operation by Afghan and international soldiers.

    Governor Tamim Nuristani told Pajhwok Afghan News that the troops injured two fighters and detained seven others in the Mirdesh area of Kamdesh district.

    The dead rebel leaders were identified as Maulvi Abdullah, the Taliban-designated district chief, and Maulvi Osman.

    Idris Momand, the 1st Military Corps spokesman, also confirmed the killing of the Taliban leaders, saying civilians and security personnel suffered no casualties. He said Doab, Chenar Khwar, Shalpeach, Gordesh, and Mirdesh areas had been cleared of insurgents.

    Aminullah Amarkhel, the Nangarhar border police commander, earlier said 10 insurgents had been killed in the overnight Kamdesh operation.

    Operation Storm, which was launched two day ago, was aimed to target militant sanctuaries in the province, bordering Pakistan's northwestern valley of Chitral, he said.

    On the other hand, Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid claimed several Afghan and foreign troops had been killed in clashes with fighters. However, he gave no specific casualty figures.

    Mujahid went on to accuse the combined force of killing six civilians and injuring five others. He said the detainees were non-combatants.