Seven people died, including two children, when US-led forces tried to detain a suspected Taliban militant in a village near the Pakistani border, the military said yesterday.
The battle broke out Tuesday when soldiers from the US-led coalition went to the village in southeastern Paktika province in search of Raz Mohammed, who the military said was implicated in attacks against its troops.
"Coalition troops were fired on by Raz Mohammed and other Taliban forces when they attempted to capture Mohammed," the military said in a statement. "During the ensuing firefight, Mohammed and two other enemy insurgents were killed. An Afghan woman and two children also died."
An Afghan helping the coalition troops also was killed, it said. It was unclear if he was a member of the Afghan security forces or an informer.
Another child and a second Afghan working with the coalition were wounded, the statement said. The child was reported in stable condition.
Mullah Hakim Latifi, a purported Taliban spokesman, said the clash occurred Wednesday afternoon when US troops surrounded the tents where Mohammed was living in Waza Khwa, an impoverished district on the Pakistani border.
"Mohammed resisted the US forces," Latifi said by satellite telephone from an undisclosed location.
He confirmed the death of Mohammed, who he said was a senior military commander in eastern Laghman province before the Taliban's ouster in 2001 and said his wife and six of his children were also killed.
Latifi claimed that eight US soldiers had perished in the battle, but the US military said none of its soldiers were hurt.
Paktika lies in a swath of Afghan territory along the mountainous Pakistani frontier where a stubborn insurgency has exposed the feeble reach of the government of US-backed President Hamid Karzai and hampered reconstruction.
Taliban leaders have threatened a fresh offensive as the harsh Afghan winter wanes, but commanders of the 18,000 overwhelmingly US combat troops in Afghanistan and the separate 8,500-strong NATO security force insist the rebels are weakening.
News of the Paktika clash came a day after the US military said its aircraft killed five suspected Taliban militants near the border in Khost province and also that US-led troops had shot an Afghan boy during a search operation.
The boy died Wednesday when troops fired toward a suspected bomb-builder and two armed men in a village near Asadabad in eastern Kunar province, the military said.
EVOLVING SITUATION: Of the latest cases, 23 percent were found to be asymptomatic, but the coronavirus strain in Da Nang is more contagious, authorities said A COVID-19 outbreak that began in the Vietnamese city of Da Nang more than a week ago has spread to at least four city factories with a combined workforce of about 3,700, state media reported yesterday. Four cases were found at the plants in different industrial parks in the central city that collectively employ 77,000 people, the Lao Dong newspaper said. Vietnam, praised widely for its decisive measures to combat the novel coronavirus since it first appeared in late January, is battling new clusters of infection having gone for more than three months without detecting any domestic transmissions. Authorities yesterday reported one new
‘COVIDIOTS’: Politicians condemned the protest that came amid surging infections in the country, while a marcher said government-induced fear weakened the body Loudly chanting their opposition to masks and vaccines, thousands of people on Saturday gathered in Berlin to protest against COVID-19 restrictions before being dispersed by police. Police put turnout at about 20,000 — well below the 500,000 organizers had announced as they urged a “day of freedom” from months of virus curbs. Despite Germany’s comparatively low toll, authorities are concerned at a rise in infections over the past few weeks and politicians took to social media to criticize the rally as irresponsible. “We are the second wave,” shouted the crowd, a mixture of hard left and right and conspiracy theorists, as they converged
A cat that went missing on a family holiday on the shores of Loch Lomond, Scotland, has been identified 12 years later. Tortoiseshell-and-white Georgie spent October half term in 2008 with her owners at the Rowardennan campsite, but vanished as they were due to return home to Greater Manchester, England. After a search of the site the Davies family departed without Georgie, hoping the three-year-old microchipped feline would be located by someone. Over the intervening 12 years, she remained close to the Queen Elizabeth Forest Park site, being fed and cared for by campsite staff and holidaymakers. After the COVID-19 pandemic hit and lockdown
Three Micronesian sailors stranded on a remote Pacific island have been found alive and well after a rescue team spotted their giant SOS message written into the sand on a beach. Australian and US military aircraft found the three men on tiny Pikelot island, nearly 200km west of where they had set off. Rescuers said that the men were “in good condition” with no significant injuries. The men had been missing for three days after their 7m skiff ran out of fuel and strayed off course. Authorities in the US territory of Guam raised the alarm on Saturday after the men failed to complete