Twelve Taliban fighters were killed by artillery fire along the Pakistan-Afghanistan border after insurgents attacked a military post with rockets and mortars, the US-led coalition said yesterday.
The fighting occurred as a string of bombings and gunbattles elsewhere around Afghanistan left 41 people dead and six wounded on Saturday, including two foreigners hurt in a suicide bombing near the capital.
Coalition and Afghan troops in eastern Paktika Province were attacked by insurgents who used Pakistan's territory to fire rockets and mortar rounds toward a coalition observation post on Saturday, a coalition statement said.
Pakistani authorities gave permission for the troops to return fire, it said.
"Coalition counter-fire batteries destroyed the six confirmed insurgent firing sites, three on each side of the Pakistan-Afghanistan border," the statement said.
Insurgents move back and forth through the porous border regions between Afghanistan and Pakistan.
NOT DOING ENOUGH
Afghan authorities have accused Pakistan in the past of not doing enough to prevent the movement of militants across the border to attack Afghan and foreign troops in the country.
Pakistan denies the charge and says it has deployed tens of thousands of the troops along the volatile frontier to stem the flow of militants.
Violence in Afghanistan has risen sharply during the last two months. This year more than 3,800 people -- most of them militants -- have died, an Associated Press tally of casualty figures provided by Western and Afghan officials showed.
On Saturday, a suicide car bomber rammed his vehicle into two four-wheel drive Land Cruisers on a main road leading out of the capital, said Ali Shah Paktiawal, chief of criminal investigations in the city.
Afghan Interior Ministry spokesman Zemerai Bashary said that two foreigners and four Afghans were injured in the attack, but he did not know the nationalities of the foreigners or the extent of their wounds.
In Kandahar Province in the south, insurgents attacked a police patrol with a bomb and then opened fire with automatic weapons and rocket-propelled grenades, police officer Umar Khan said.
Eight officers were killed and one was missing, he said.
In Ghazni Province in the east, police killed 24 militants -- two of whom were believed to be Arabs -- in 24 hours, local police chief Ali Shah Ahmadzai said.
Five insurgents had also been killed in Badghis Province since Friday, a police official there said.
Elsewhere in Kandahar, a roadside bomb killed two Afghans guarding a convoy carrying supplies for NATO-led forces, provincial police chief Sayed Aqa Saqib said.
In neighboring Helmand Province, Afghan soldiers shot and killed two suspected Taliban fighters while they were planting a roadside bomb, police officer Ghulam Wali said.