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42 insurgents die in Afghan fighting

KABUL, Afghanistan, April 29 (UPI) -- Afghan and coalition forces Wednesday killed an estimated 42 insurgents during fighting in Oruzgan, Helmand and Lowgar provinces, officials said.

In Oruzgan province, Afghan police and coalition troops were attacked by several militants with small-arms and rocket-propelled grenade fire. The police and coalition forces returned fire and called in close-air support, killing 23 militants, American Forces Press Service reported.

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In Helmand province, Afghan and coalition troops encountered armed militants preparing an attack from a wooded area. The initial firefight left four militants dead and a subsequent battle resulted in five more militants being killed. The Afghan-led forces also found 220 pounds of opium, hundreds of pounds of bomb-making materials and several explosive devices.

In Lowgar province, Afghan-coalition forces battled suspected Taliban operatives in two encounters, resulting in about 10 insurgents being killed.

Meanwhile, a suicide bomber blew himself up in northern Afghanistan, injuring five German soldiers. The German daily newspaper Bild reported the Taliban had claimed responsibility for the attack.

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