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06/25/2006 World News: Two Coalition Troops, 45 Taleban Killed in Afghan Battle


Afghanistan: Military officials in Afghanistan say two coalition soldiers and about 45 insurgents were killed during a battle in southern Afghanistan.
A statement by the U.S.-led coalition today (Sunday) says the two soldiers were wounded in an assault on a rebel stronghold in the Panjwayi district of southern Kandahar province. They died later in a hospital. The statement did not reveal their nationality.
The Afghan commanding general for the region (Rahmatullah Roufi) says the battle with insurgents began late Saturday and lasted into the night. He said there were no casualties among Afghan troops.

Israel-Palestinians: Israeli officials say two soldiers and three Palestinian militants have been killed in a Palestinian attack on an Israeli army post near the border with the Gaza Strip.
The Israeli army says militants crossed the border early today (Sunday) through a tunnel they had dug near Kerem Shalom, and fired rocket-propelled grenades and automatic weapons at Israeli troops.
The militant Popular Resistance Committees and the armed wing of Hamas have claimed responsibility for the attack.
Israeli military officials say troops backed by tanks and helicopter gunships entered Gaza after the attack. The army called it a "limited entry" to search the area.

Iraq: Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has presented a reconciliation plan to the parliament that aims to ease violence in the country.
Mr. Maliki told Iraqi legislators today (Sunday) the plan would include amnesty for those who did not take part in criminal and terrorist activities. There was no mention of any timetable for the withdrawal of U.S.-led

forces in Iraq.
"The New York Times" reported today the top U.S. commander in Iraq foresees a major reduction in U.S. forces there by the end of 2007, and the first cuts this September.

Iraq-Japan: Japanese transport trucks lugging military vehicles and equipment have left Iraq, marking the start of Japan's withdrawal from the war-torn country.
The military contingent was seen crossing into Kuwait today (Sunday) after leaving the base at Samawa in the southern Iraqi province of Muthanna. Iraqi forces are scheduled to take over security from coalition forces in the province next month.
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Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi said Tuesday that Japan's 600 non-combat troops had fulfilled their humanitarian assignment and would leave Iraq.

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