Afghan, NATO forces kill more than 20 militants

Mar 27, 2013, 10:05 AM EDT
An Afghan curbside vendor takes a break in Kandahar, southern Afghanistan, Tuesday, March 26, 2013. Residents of Kandahar complain of few jobs despite heavy international investment in the country since the collapse of the Taliban in 2001. (AP Photo/Allauddin Khan)
(AP Photo/Allauddin Khan)

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — Afghan and NATO forces killed more than 20 insurgents in a joint operation in the eastern Logar province, military officials said Wednesday.

The two-day operation that ended Tuesday night in the province's Baraki Barak district also killed a local Taliban commander, said provincial government spokesman Din Mohammad Darwesh. Two civilians were wounded, Darwesh said. There were no immediate reports on possible Afghan or international casualties.

The troops killed 24 insurgents as part of the operation, which also rescued two captured Afghan soldiers, the NATO military coalition says in a statement. Afghan officials gave varying numbers of 23 to 26 militants killed.

Deputy provincial police chief Rais Khan Abdul Rahimzai said that two civilians were killed and two were wounded in crossfire. He said the insurgents were inside the house of those who were killed and were shooting at Afghan forces.

Separately, the coalition said an international service member died Wednesday following an insurgent attack in the east. It was not clear if there was any relation to the Logar operation. The statement did not provide the service member's nationality or other details.

So far this month, at least 16 international troops have been killed in Afghanistan.