By Rahim Faiez, Associated Press Writer
KABUL – About 50 Taliban militants died in a battle in western Afghanistan after an insurgent ambush killed three U.S. troops, an Afghan official said Sunday.
The fighting took place in a region controlled by militants that has been the site of huge battles in the past, some that have caused high numbers of civilian casualties. In Saturday’s clash, a militant-fired rocket struck a home and killed a woman and a teenage girl, Afghan police said.
The battle followed an insurgent ambush that killed three Americans and seven Afghan troops, said Afghan army spokesman Maj. Abdul Basir Ghori. The ambush involved two roadside bombs, gunfire and rocket-propelled grenades, the U.S. military said Sunday.
Fighting — which included NATO air strikes — continued for six to eight hours after the ambush, U.S. military spokeswoman Capt. Elizabeth Mathias said. She couldn’t provide casualty figures and no other Afghan officials immediately confirmed the death toll.
“The combined ISAF and Afghan force was receiving significant small-arms, RPG and indirect fire throughout that time frame,” she said, referring to the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force.
Saturday’s violence came the same day Afghan officials said 50 other civilians, security forces and militants were killed in a spate of attacks around Afghanistan, including 20 noncombatants killed in two roadside bomb explosions.
Violence has risen steadily across Afghanistan in the last three years, and militants now control wide swaths of the countryside.
Source: DESERT CONSERVATIVE.