KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) – U.S.-led coalition and Afghan troops clashed with and called in airstrikes on Taliban militants in western Afghanistan, killing and wounding more than 25 insurgents, an Afghan official said Tuesday.
The joint force has been battling militants in Bala Buluk district of Farah province since Monday afternoon, said regional police spokesman Rauf Ahmadi.
Two police officers were wounded in the fighting, which also involved coalition airstrikes on the militants’ positions, Ahmadi said. 1st Lt. Nathan Perry, a coalition spokesman, said that militants used two roadside bombs, small arms and rocket-propelled grenades to attack coalition patrols in Farah on Monday and Tuesday. No coalition troops were killed, but Perry would not say if any were wounded. Separately, militants attacked an Afghan army outpost in the same region Tuesday and the clash there was continuing, Perry said.
In Kabul, meanwhile, a suicide bomber on foot detonated himself Tuesday next to the walls of the city’s historic Babur Gardens, a popular public park, wounding three civilians, said police official Ali Shah Paktiawal.
The Taliban claimed responsibility for the blast. The victims were riding on a minibus at the time of the explosion, Paktiawal said.
The attack comes about two weeks after a massive suicide bombing outside the Indian Embassy in Kabul killed more than 60 people and wounded nearly 150.
Nevertheless, the Afghan capital has seen fewer attacks this year compared to 2007.
Afghanistan is facing an intensified Taliban insurgency nearly seven years after the U.S.-led invasion ousted the militant movement from power. More than 2,500 people have died in insurgency-related violence this year, according to an Associated Press tally of official figures.