Taliban, Afghan forces clash

Clashes have erupted between armed Taliban fighters and government forces in Zabul province in southern Afghanistan, reports Aljazeera's correspondent.

    Taliban fighters say they killed seven government forces

    The toll in the clashes is being disputed by both sides.
     
    The Taliban says it killed seven government soldiers, adding that one of its members has also been killed, while government sources say their forces killed seven Taliban members. 
     
    The incident comes a day after 13 people were killed and a local militiaman injured when a landmine exploded in Paktia province.
     
    Meanwhile, the Afghan Interior Ministry confirmed the killing of 10 policemen by Taliban fighters last Friday in Helmand province.

    Prisoners escape

    Also on Monday, four Arab prisoners held at the Bagram military base, north of Kabul, escaped, sources told Aljazeera. 
      
    The men escaped from Bagram Air Base to the north of Kabul at about 5am (0030 GMT), US Lieutenant-Colonel Jerry O'Hara said.

    "We have on ongoing operation to recover four individuals who escaped from our detention facility," he said.

    The body of the last of a group of
    missing US soldiers was found

    The US military also said on Monday that the body of a US Navy Seal commando who was the last of a group of four that went missing in Afghanistan last month had been found and it appeared he had been killed in action.

    The military rejected claims by a Taliban spokesman that the commando had been captured and beheaded, saying indications were that he had been killed in a clash with fighters in Kunar province on or about 28 June, the day the team went missing.

    The military said two of the missing commandos were found dead on 4 July, having been killed in action, while another was found alive the previous day.

    Biggest US loss

    The discovery of the last body brought to an end a bloody two-week search operation that cost the lives of 16 other US soldiers.

    The 16 were aboard a helicopter that crashed while on a mission to find the four-man team.

    The losses were the heaviest for the United States in a single combat operation in Afghanistan.

    Afghan officials said 17 civilians were also killed in a strike by a US B-52 bomber during the search. 

    SOURCE: Aljazeera + Agencies


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