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US, Afghans attack clinic after Taliban checks in

 An Afghan soldier stands guard at the site of a blast in the southern city of Kandahar, in Afghanistan Wednesday, Aug 26, 2009.  A cluster of vehicle...
 A vehicle used by the Kunduz justice ministry director burns after an explosion in Kunduz province north of Kabul, Afghanistan Wednesday, Aug 26, 200...

Afghanistan

An Afghan soldier stands guard at the site of a blast in the southern city of Kandahar, in Afghanistan Wednesday, Aug 26, 2009. A cluster of vehicle...

Afghanistan

A vehicle used by the Kunduz justice ministry director burns after an explosion in Kunduz province north of Kabul, Afghanistan Wednesday, Aug 26, 200...

U.S. and Afghan forces attacked a clinic in eastern Afghanistan after a wounded Taliban commander sought treatment, and a U.S. helicopter gunship fired on the medical center after militants put up resistance, officials said Thursday.
Reports of the militant death toll from Wednesday's firefight varied widely. The spokesman for the governor of Paktika province said 12 militants died, while police said two were killed. The U.S. military did not report any deaths. It wasn't clear why the tolls differed.
The fighting began after a wounded Taliban commander sought treatment at a clinic in the Sar Hawza district of Paktika. As U.S. said Afghan forces moved toward the center, militants began firing from inside.
Hamidullah Zhwak, the governor's spokesman, said the Taliban commander was wounded Aug. 20, the day of the country's presidential election.
Militants brought him and three other wounded Taliban to the clinic at noon Wednesday. U.S. and Afghan forces were tipped off to their presence and soon arrived at the scene, he said.
Insurgent snipers fired from a tower near the clinic, and troops called in an airstrike, Zhwak said. Fighting between some 20 militants and Afghan and U.S. forces lasted about five hours, and 12 Taliban were killed in the clash, he said.
"After ensuring the clinic was cleared of civilians, an AH-64 Apache helicopter fired rounds at the building ending the direct threat and injuring the targeted insurgent in the building," a U.S. military statement said.
Seven insurgents _ including the wounded commander _ had been detained, the U.S. statement said.
Gen. Dawlat Khan, the provincial police chief, said two militants died in the encounter.
The Taliban have gained control of large segments of Afghanistan's south and east over the past few years, prompting the U.S. to send an additional 21,000 troops to the country this year.
The latest clash comes as the war-torn country awaits results from last week's election. The lengthy vote count, coupled with ongoing accusations of fraud, threatens to undermine hopes that Afghans can put together a united front against the insurgency.


Updated : 2021-05-12 23:21 GMT+08:00