U.S. Clashes With Taliban, al Qaeda

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BAGRAM, Afghanistan?After weeks of no reported combat with al Qaeda or Taliban fighters, American-led forces clashed with “terrorists” and several of them were believed killed, the U.S. command said Sunday.

Rockets were also fired at a U.S.-controlled airstrip in southeastern Afghanistan, stark reminders that this country’s struggle to overcome 23 years of war is far from over.

There were no casualties among U.S. special forces or their Afghan allies in the Saturday skirmish, which erupted after a joint patrol came under fire, U.S. military spokesman Maj. Bryan Hilferty said. Hilferty said troops called in air support from an AC-130 airborne gunship but would not say where the clash took place.

Hilferty said the troops could not confirm the death toll among the attackers but said the patrol believed it had “killed several terrorists” because “the AC-130 saw them, fired, and then didn’t see them any more.”