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Attacks by Taliban up, says US

Bagram/Spin Boldak (Afghanistan), July 22 (Reuters): The US army yesterday said Taliban guerrillas had stepped up attacks in southern Afghanistan, with nine coalition soldiers wounded and up to 24 Taliban killed in the last four days.

Afghan officials said the militants were crossing from Pakistan, an open supporter of the Taliban until Islamabad announced it was joining the US-led “war on terror” in 2001.

US military spokesperson Colonel Rodney Davis said between 22 and 24 Taliban fighters had been killed in an operation near the town of Spin Boldak on Saturday, and five suspects taken into custody the following day after an arms cache was discovered.

“Yes, the attacks have increased,” Davis said at the Bagram US military headquarters at Bagram air base, in response to a question. “This engagement in Spin Boldak was the biggest in two months,” he said.

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