Dozen Militants Killed In Afghan Clash

GENERIC: Afghanistan, NATO, Troops, Europe
The U.S.-led coalition says more than a dozen militants have been killed in a clash and air strike in southern Afghanistan.

The coalition says militants ambushed an Afghan and coalition patrol in Uruzgan province on Friday.

It says the joint patrol fired back and called in air strikes, which killed over a dozen militants.

There were no casualties among the Afghan and coalition troops.

Southern Afghanistan is the center of the Taliban-led insurgency.

More than 2,700 people, mostly militants, have died in insurgency-related violence this year, according to an AP tally of figures from Afghan and Western officials.

Also today, police say a bus carrying a wedding party in southern Afghanistan has struck a mine, killing 10 people including the bride and groom.

A provincial police chief, Matiullah Khan, says six other people were wounded in the explosion Saturday in Kandahar province's Spin Boldak district. Khan said the victims included children.

He blamed Taliban militants for planting the explosive.

Elsewhere, three Taliban militants were killed when a roadside bomb they were planting exploded prematurely in eastern Afghanistan, and militants kidnapped a district chief in the same region, officials said Saturday.

A doctor working for the Taliban was among those killed in the Friday blast in the eastern Paktika province, the Interior Ministry said in a statement. The bomb was being placed on a main road in the province, it said.

Also Friday, gunmen kidnapped Abdul Ghiaz Haqmal, a district chief in Kunar's Marwara district, provincial police Chief Abdul Jalal Jalal said.

When police went to investigate the case, militants opened fire, killing an officer and wounding a civilian, Jalal said.