60 Taliban, 4 Afghan soldiers killed in fighting - 24 May, 2006 - News

Sixty Taliban militants and four Afghan soldiers were killed in a firefight in southern Afghanistan that also involved coalition airstrikes, an Afghan army general said Wednesday. Gen. Rehmatullah Raufi said that Taliban militants clashed with Afghan soldiers in Uruzgan province Tuesday evening and that four Afghan soldiers died and that the bodies of about 60 militants were recovered. Three Afghan soldiers were wounded.

The number of casualties is difficult to confirm independently because the scene of the fighting was remote and could not be reached. Coalition airstrikes were called in toward the end of the battle, said Raufi, the military commander for southern Afghanistan . A spokesman for the coalition couldn't immediately confirm the use of airstrikes.

The fighting began in a small village in Tirin Kot district before the militants fled higher into the mountains, Raufi said. It was there that airstrikes bombed Taliban positions, he said. In the past year, Uruzgan has been the site of some of the heaviest fighting in Afghanistan . Militants have suffered high losses in multiple battles with coalition forces, and the violence there has subsided in recent months, reports the AP.