U.S. patrol ambushed in Afghanistan
Five suspected Taliban killed, another five arrested
U.S. troops killed five suspected Taliban and detained five more, including two commanders, after an ambush on their patrol in southern Afghanistan, an Afghan official said Thursday.
The patrol was attacked Wednesday morning near Khakrez, 150 miles southwest of the capital, Kabul, in troubled Kandahar province, said Khalid Pashtun, the provincial government spokesman.
The militants opened fire on the American convoy with AK-47 assault rifles, but were no match for their target, Pashtun told The Associated Press.
"Five Taliban were killed in the gunbattle and the other five are in American custody," Pashtun said. "None of the Americans was hurt."
Two of the five people captured after the botched ambush were local Taliban commanders Abdul Halal and Abdul Shakoor, Pashtun said.
He said American troops were searching Khakrez district for more Taliban on Thursday.
U.S. military officials in Kabul had no immediate comment.
Taliban-led militants have mounted a wave of attacks in recent weeks, killing dozens of Afghan soldiers, two British election workers and a U.S. Marine, in an apparent bid to derail plans for a landmark national vote in September.
[Source: Associated Press, Kandahar, Afg, 13May04]
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