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Suspected Taliban ambush kills 7 Print
8 Apr, 2007

KABUL: Suspected Taliban militants ambushed Afghans working for a U.S. land mine clearing company in south-western Afghanistan, leaving seven people dead and four others wounded, an official said.

The incident occurred Saturday as more than 1,000 NATO and Afghan troops clashed with Taliban militiamen and took control of a district centre in southern Afghanistan long held by the militants, officials said.

The domineers and their guards working for Ronco Consulting Corp., a U.S.-based company, were ambushed in a populated area in western Farah province as their two-vehicle convoy was travelling on the highway from Kandahar to the western province of Herat, said Mohammad Anwar, spokesman for Farah's police chief.

Six of those killed worked for Ronco. One was a woman caught in the crossfire between militants and armed guards working for the company, he said. Two of those wounded also worked for the company and two others were women caught in the clash. All the victims were Afghan, and it was not immediately clear how many of those killed were guards and how many were domineers, Anwar said.

In Zabul province, U.S.-led coalition troops clashed with suspected Taliban militants near Qalat on Saturday and called an air strike, leaving five militants dead, the coalition said in a statement.

NATO-led troops, meanwhile, used helicopters, armoured vehicles and infantry in their push toward the town of Sangin in Helmand province, the world's biggest opium-producing region, NATO's International Security Assistance Force said in a statement late Friday.
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