25 February 2005
Authorities in Afghanistan say nine Afghan soldiers and 10 Taleban rebels have been killed in two separate ambushes in the country's restive south.
A provincial government official says suspected Taleban rebels attacked the soldiers late Thursday when they were on patrol in the remote Chakul area of southern Helmand province. Later, a person claiming to be a Taleban spokesman claimed responsibility for the attack.
The U.S. military said 10 Taleban rebels also were killed Thursday during a U.S. helicopter raid in southeastern Khost province after five Afghan soldiers were wounded in an ambush.
Taleban activity has eased during the harshest Afghan winter in decades, but officials believe upcoming warmer weather will result in a renewed surge of violence.