A raid by U.S. coalition troops in eastern Afghanistan killed five al-Qaida associated fighters and detained eight others, including a militant leader, the U.S. military said in a statement Sunday. Two U.S. troops were wounded in a suicide attack in the west.
Another five insurgents were killed in a firefight in a southern province, said the U.S. military, which has vowed to keep up attacks throughout the winter to keep pressure on insurgents trying to overthrow ‘s pro-Western government.
The detained al-Qaida associated militant leader is accused of assisting thewith the movement and training of Arab and other foreign fighters into Afghanistan, the coalition statement said, without identifying him.
The troops made the raid in Paktia’s province Zurmat district Saturday. Five armed militants were killed and eight detained, the coalition said.
Afghan police officers look at the wreckage of a car used by a suicide bomber in the western city of Herat November 16, 2008. Two U.S. soldiers were wounded in a suicide car-bomb attack on their convoy in the western city of Herat, a U.S. military spokesman said.REUTERS/Mohammad Shoaib (AFGHANISTAN)
Violence by various insurgent groups has spiked this year to the highest level since a U.S.-led coalition ousted the Taliban’s hard-line Islamist regime in 2001 for sheltering Osama bin Laden and other al-Qaida leaders.
Attacks are up 30 percent from 2007, military officials say. More than 5,400 people — mostly militants — have died in insurgency-related violence this year in Afghanistan, according to a tally by The Associated Press of figures provided by Afghan and international officials.
A suicide car bomber, meanwhile, struck a U.S. convoy in the western Herat province on Sunday, wounding two troops and damaging two of their vehicles, said Col. Greg Julian, the spokesman for the U.S. military in Afghanistan.