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55 militants killed in Afghan coalition attack

  • Story Highlights
  • Coalition troops came under rocket attack in Zerok district of Patitka province
  • U.S.-led forces launched ground and air attacks in response
  • Rocket from a helicopter hit a house killing man and his four-year-old son
  • Hundreds of villagers gathered at the site chanting anti-U.S. slogans
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KABUL, Afghanistan (CNN) -- U.S.-led coalition forces said Monday they killed 55 militants in response to an ambush in eastern Afghanistan.

A separate confrontation with militants killed two civilians, including a child, an Afghan official said.

In the first incident, coalition troops came under fire from militants carrying rocket-propelled grenades in the Zerok district of Patitka province on Friday, said a statement from the U.S.-led coalition.

Coalition troops launched ground and air attacks in response, killing 55 militants and wounding 25. They also detained three others, the statement said.

The incident occurred along the main road between Zerok and Orgun districts.

In the second incident, a coalition attack on militants planting a roadside bomb in eastern Afghanistan killed two civilians, including a child, an Afghan official said Monday.

A coalition spokesman confirmed the Sunday night attack on the insurgents but said he did not know of any civilian casualties.

Soldiers spotted four men planting a roadside bomb in the Khogyani district of Nangarhar province, said spokesman 1st Lt. Nathan Perry.

The militants fired at the soldiers, prompting the coalition forces to call in a helicopter for support, Perry said. One militant was killed.

"There is no report of civilian casualties," Perry said.

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Haji Zelmai, the district's governor, said a rocket fired from the helicopter hit the house of a local villager, killing the man and his four-year-old son.

Hundreds of villagers gathered at the site of the rocket attack Monday morning, chanting anti-U.S. slogans and demanding that government officials punish the soldiers.

-- Journalist Farhad Peikar contributed to this report

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