3 NATO service members killed in south Afghanistan

Militant attacks killed three NATO service members in southern Afghanistan today, the international coalition said.

Last Updated: Oct 20, 2010, 00:02 AM IST

Kabul: Militant attacks killed three NATO
service members in southern Afghanistan today, the
international coalition said.

NATO did not give the nationality of the dead service
members or provide exact locations of the attacks. One was
killed in an insurgent attack and two others by roadside
bombs.

Violence in southern Afghanistan has risen in recent
months as NATO and Afghan forces try to seize control of the
Taliban stronghold of Kandahar.

This year has been the deadliest for international
forces in the nine-year Afghan conflict. At least 47
NATO service members have been killed so far this month, and
more than 2,000 have died since the 2001 U S-led invasion.

Four Taliban commanders were also reported killed in
three separate incidents.

A NATO airstrike killed one Taliban leader in Nad Ali
district in southern Helmand province yesterday, the Helmand
governor`s office said.

Another airstrike killed 15 insurgents on Sunday,
including a senior Taliban military leader for Dahana-i-ghuri
and Pul-e-khumri districts in Baghlan province, NATO said. A
second insurgent leader from the same province was also killed
in the same attack.

Another midlevel Taliban commander was killed Sunday
by NATO forces in the Pech River Valley in Kunar province near
the Pakistan border, the alliance said. The commander was
accused of organising kidnappings, helping Arab and Pakistani
fighters cross the border and attacking NATO convoys.

In southern Kandahar province, the coalition said 10
insurgents were reported killed and several more detained
after they fired on a joint NATO and Afghan army patrol on
yesterday.

In a separate development, 40 Taliban fighters
deserted to the government in northern Kunduz province on
Sunday, said the deputy governor Amdullah Danishi today.

There are several programs running to reintegrate
Taliban fighters but men who previously defected complained
they were not provided with jobs or alternative livelihoods. A
new government program aims to address those problems.

Also today, the government ordered an investigation
into Sunday`s death of a detainee being held by coalition
forces in the Arghandab detention center in Kandahar
province.

PTI