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Scores Killed In Air Strike, Roadside Bombing In Afghanistan

Afghan officials say at least 18 Taliban fighters and 14 civilians were killed in an air strike and a roadside bomb in two Afghan provinces.

Aka Mohammad Safi, a spokesman for the Afghan Army in the southern province of Uruzgan, said the Afghan Air Force targeted Taliban units in the Gizab and Khas Uruzgan districts, which killed at least 18 Taliban fighters and wounded five others.

“They wanted to either overrun the centers or capture our check posts,” Safi told Radio Free Afghanistan on September 29. “We spoiled their plans through these air strikes.”

It was not immediately possible to reach the Taliban, which has not commented on the Afghan Army's claims. It is often not possible to verify conflicting claims by the Afghan government and the Taliban about fighting in remote Afghan districts. Civilians were also reported killed in recent Afghan air strikes in the northern province of Kunduz.

Meanwhile, officials in the central Afghan province of Daikundi, which borders Uruzgan, said at least 14 civilians including women and children, were killed in a roadside bomb on September 29.

Nasrullah Ghori, a spokesman for Daikundi’s provincial governor, told Radio Free Afghanistan that seven women, four children, and two men were killed in the incident, which happened in a Taliban-controlled part of the Kijran district. So far no one has accepted responsibility for the attack.

Violence in Afghanistan continues despite peace talks between the Afghan government and the Taliban. Last week Zalmay Khalilzad, the U.S. envoy for Afghan reconciliation, predicted that the Taliban is unlikely to agree to a cease-fire before reaching a political agreement with the Afghan government.

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