- The Washington Times - Thursday, March 19, 2009

KABUL (AP) - Foreign and Afghan troops killed two suspected insurgents and detained 22 others in two separate raids Thursday in eastern Afghanistan, officials said.

Afghan and U.S.-led coalition troops killed two suspected militants and detained four more during a raid on an al-Qaida cell in the eastern Nangarhar province, the coalition said in a statement.

The cell was involved in roadside bomb attacks and facilitated suicide bombs, the coalition said.

The NATO-led force, meanwhile, said its troops detained 18 suspected insurgents during a raid in Logar, another eastern province.

Among those detained was an insurgent leader allegedly involved in attacks against Afghan and foreign troops in Logar and Kabul, the military alliance said in a statement.

Thousands of new U.S. troops serving with NATO-led forces have moved into the known insurgent centers of Logar and Wardak, provinces that border Kabul.

The Islamic militants have made a violent comeback the last three years following an apparent initial defeat after the 2001 U.S. invasion. In response, the U.S. is has ordered 17,000 thousands new troops to join 38,000 American forces already in Afghanistan to try to reverse their gains.

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