Kabul – A Canadian soldier and ten Taliban insurgents were killed in separate blasts and clashes in southern Afghanistan, officials said Monday.
The Canadian soldier was killed and four others were wounded in a roadside bomb blast in Shah Walikot district of southern Kandahar province, Canadian defence ministry and the NATO military alliance said in statements.
The soldiers were conducting security operations in the area on Sunday when the explosion occurred, the military said.
Meanwhile, Afghan army soldiers killed eight suspected Taliban fighters in a clash in Garmsir district of southern Helmand province on Sunday, Shir Mohammad Zazai, an army commander in southern region said.
One other insurgent was arrested by Afghan troops after hours-long gun battle, he said, adding that there were no casualties among their forces.
Separately, two militants were killed in southern province of Ghazni on Sunday when the bomb they were planting on a road exploded prematurely, Mohammad Zaman, provincial police chief said.
The Taliban-led insurgency is on the rise in Afghanistan despite the presence of more than 70,000 international forces deployed to the country from 41 nations. The US government is sending 17,000 additional soldiers by the middle of this year.
Violence was at its worst level in 2008 since the ouster of Taliban regime in late 2001. Both Taliban and pro-government military officials have claimed to be in better position for a renewed fight in spring and summer, the two traditional fighting seasons in Afghanistan.
Afghan and NATO military officials have admitted that their forces were facing a “tougher fight” this year. (dpa)