Militants, including woman, killed in Afghan ambush

Kabul, Aug 29 (DPA) Afghan and international forces killed several militants, including a woman, in northern Afghanistan after they came under fire while travelling to search a militant compound, the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) said Friday.

The woman was among the militants who engaged the joint force in Kunduz province. She was armed with an automatic rifle and was wearing ammunition across her chest, the ISAF said.

One civilian was wounded in Thursday’s crossfire and was taken for medical treatment, it said, adding that one militant was arrested in the subsequent search of the compound.

The ISAF said it destroyed several rocket-propelled grenades, seven assault rifles, ammunition and grenades at the compound near Chehar Darrechi village. It said it believed the compound was used by the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, which fought with the Taliban in the 1990s.

However, Abdul Wahid Omarkhel, the district governor said seven people were killed in the firefight, including three civilians: a married couple and their 15-year-old son.

A neighbour said the father had no connection with the Taliban.

Meanwhile, in Kunduz city, the capital of the province, US soldiers detained four Uzbek militants, Afghan authorities said.

The ISAF statement did not name the nationalities of the international forces involved in Thursday’s firefight. A spokesman for the German army, which has a base in Kunduz, said German troops were despatched to support the forces that came under fire but the battle had ended by the time they arrived.

In an operation in the southern province of Kandahar on the same day, Afghan and international forces detained six suspected militants in a similar search just west of the provincial capital Kandahar.

The search there targeted militants accused of financing and transporting weapons and supplies for the Taliban in the region, the ISAF said.