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    2 planting bombs killed in Khost airstrike

    KHOST CITY (PAN): Two insurgents planting a roadside bomb were killed in an airstrike by NATO-led troops in southeastern Khost province, the alliance and local officials said on Tuesday.

    The International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) said the airstrike was carried out in the Mandozai district, but a local security official said it happened in the Shambawat area of Nadir Shah Kot district.

    A combined security force called the airstrike after it observed a group of militants planting a 100-pound (45 kilogram) bomb. Two fighters were killed in the overnight precision strike and three others were detained, an ISAF statement said.

    A rocket-propelled grenade, multiple firearms and bomb-making materials were also confiscated during the operation, it added.

    Maj. Saat Gul Hotak, a spokesman for the 203rd Thunder Military Corps, told Pajhwok Afghan News the two were planting mines on the Shambawat-Khost highway. They came under attack from ISAF aircraft.

    The ISAF statement said the operation was conducted in pursuit of a Haqqani Network leader, accused of operating an insurgent cell in Nadir Shah Kot district and planning roadside bomb attacks throughout the area. 

    The leader was captured in Nadir Shah Kot, it said, accusing the detainee of training fighters and directing bomb attacks.

    Meanwhile, two suspected guerrillas were arrested along with weapons and explosives during an operation by Afghan National Army (ANA) soldiers in the Sabari district, according to Hotak.

    Thirteen hand-grenades, five firecrackers, one AK-47 assault rifle and some explosives were seized in the operation, he said.

    In a separate raid, an Afghan and coalition force, searching for a Taliban facilitator, confiscated bomb-making material, multiple weapons and ammunition and detained several suspects in Baghlan-i-Jadid district of northern Baghlan province.

    pr/mrh/ma/mud