June 28, 2008 / 5:01 PM / 12 years ago

Afghan, U.S. troops kill 32 Taliban in clashes

KABUL (Reuters) - Afghan and U.S.-led coalition troops killed 32 Taliban militants in southern Afghanistan, including some who dressed as women in an attempt to escape, the U.S. military said on Saturday.

The Taliban opened fire with small arms and rocket-propelled grenades on a patrol of Afghan security forces and coalition troops in Uruzgan province on Thursday, the U.S. military said in a statement.

The patrol returned fire then moved to higher ground and called in air strikes, killing three militants.

Militants soon attacked the patrol again, the statement said, and 29 more insurgents were killed.

“During this engagement, insurgents attempted to disguise themselves in women’s clothing in order to escape,” it said.

The number of NATO and coalition troops in Afghanistan has been increased and more Afghan soldiers and policemen are on duty, but there has been no let-up in the violence and the Taliban insurgency shows few if any signs of weakening.

More than 6,000 people were killed in Afghanistan last year and there are signs that this year the toll could be higher, with neither side able to gain the upper hand.

Writing by Jon Hemming; editing by Andrew Roche

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