U.S. soldiers clash with insurgents in Afghanistan

Friday, January 2, 2004

KABUL, Afghanistan -- U.S. troops and helicopters killed as many as 14 enemy fighters in clashes in the mountains of eastern Afghanistan, the military said Thursday. Three U.S. soldiers were wounded in the battle Wednesday some 12 miles northeast of Shkin, a town in Paktika province near the Pakistan border. The first three enemy fighters were killed in a gunbattle after a small group of insurgents fired on a U.S. patrol, spokesman Lt. Col. Bryan Hilferty said. The U.S. military, which still has more than 11,000 troops here, says it killed 10 militants and detained more than 100 people in a four-week operation, called Avalanche, in the border regions which ended Monday.

Afghan, U.S. and U.N. officials have urged Pakistan to prevent insurgents from using the country as a base for cross-border attacks.

Pakistan, a key ally in the United States' war on terrorism, insists it is doing all it can

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