NATO says 6 Afghan insurgents killed in clash

A Taliban commander was also captured in a raid in northern Afghanistan.

Kabul: A Taliban commander was captured and six insurgents killed in a raid on a rebel hide-out in northern Afghanistan, NATO said on Saturday.

The assault in the northern province of Takhar follows a string of recent raids on militant leaders that aim to demoralise the insurgency and sever contacts between rebel groups.

A joint Afghan and NATO force was fired on as it approached a compound on Friday where the Taliban commander was hiding, NATO said. The force returned fire with the backing of coalition aircraft.

The compound was then evacuated and the commander and one of his assistants detained, it said.

Takhar had been relatively quiet amid rising violence across Afghanistan, but recent incidents point to growing insurgent activity in the province, about 150 miles (250 kilometres) north of Kabul along the border with Tajikistan.

NATO says an airstrike in the province on Thursday killed about a dozen insurgents, but President Hamid Karzai and other Afghans said the victims were campaign workers seeking votes ahead of this month`s parliamentary elections.

Bureau Report

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