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22 insurgents killed in Afghan fighting

  • Story Highlights
  • ISAF: Called in attack helicopters and air support following insurgent attack
  • Fighting took place in Khost province, in eastern Afghanistan
  • Last week Australian commandos killed a Taliban chief in south of country
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(CNN) -- Fighting involving coalition troops in eastern Afghanistan has led to the deaths of 22 militants, NATO's International Security Assistance Force said Thursday.

The clashes took place in Khost province on Wednesday.

Insurgents attacked ISAF forces, who returned fire and called in attack helicopters and air support. Troops later confirmed the death toll and said there were no civilians in the area.

Last week, the country's defense ministry announced that Australian commandos killed a Taliban chief blamed for numerous attacks on coalition troops in the south of Afghanistan.

The death of Mullah Abdul Rasheed "is a significant achievement for the Special Operations Task Group," Australian Lt. Gen. Mark Evans said in a statement. Rasheed was described as a "senior commander" in the Taliban.

Among the attacks he was blamed for was a January 4 rocket attack that killed an Australian soldier.

An ISAF spokesperson added that Rasheed helped bring jihadist volunteers into Afghanistan and planned roadside bombings that killed several coalition troops.

He was killed in a combination ground raid and air strike in Afghanistan's Oruzgan province, the allied command in Kabul said.

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