NATO airstrikes kill 14 insurgents in Afghanistan after troops concluded civilians not at risk

Monday, September 13, 2010

NATO: Airstrikes kill 14 insurgents in Afghanistan

KABUL, Afghanistan — A series of NATO airstrikes killed 14 insurgents in central Afghanistan after a joint patrol with Afghan soldiers came under fire, the Western military alliance said Monday.

The clash happened Sunday while the patrol was crossing a river in Uruzgan province, NATO said in a statement.

NATO troops requested air support after receiving small-arms fire and concluding there was no danger of civilian casualties, it said.

Initial reports indicated no civilian casualties occurred, and members of the joint patrol were unhurt in the attack, NATO said.

The number of attacks and clashes are rising amid an allied offensive aimed at suppressing the stubborn Taliban insurgency.

In a separate incident late Sunday, a rocket was fired by militants toward an Afghan army supply base in Jalalabad city, in eastern Nangarhar province, police spokesman Ghafor Khan said.

The rocket missed its target and slammed into a house, wounding nine civilians — including four children — all members of one family, Khan said.

According to initial reports, the injuries were not life threatening, Khan said.

The attacks coincide with rising tensions ahead of Saturday’s parliamentary elections. The insurgents seek to topple the pro-Western government in Kabul and drive foreign troops from the country.

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