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9 Afghan soldiers and 30 insurgents killed in battle

Associated Press

A battle in a militant-controlled region of western Afghanistan left 30 insurgents and nine soldiers dead, and a roadside bomb in the north wounded a provincial governor, officials said Saturday.

Afghan troops, backed by international forces, fought militants Friday and Saturday in Badghis province’s Bala Murghab district.

In addition to the nine Afghan soldiers killed, four “disappeared,” the Ministry of Defense said without elaborating.

Violence elsewhere in the country Saturday killed 17 people.

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The roadside bomb detonated on the main highway in Kunduz province, and shattered glass slightly wounded Gov. Mohammad Omar, said his spokesman, Ahmad Sami Yawar.

He blamed the “enemies of peace and security,” a phrase that commonly refers to militants.

Taliban fighters and other militants often target Afghan officials.

Northern Afghanistan was once thought to be a peaceful enclave unaffected by rampant Taliban violence in the south and east. But militants have increased attacks in the area in the last two years as the insurgency has spread across the country.

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President Obama is sending an additional 21,000 U.S. troops to the country in the next few months to bolster the 38,000 already there.


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