18 militants killed in south Afghan battles

Two operations in southern Afghanistan killed 18 suspected militants, including seven "foreigners," while 10 Afghans died in two other explosions around the country, officials said. The battles in Helmand province on Wednesday involved foreign troops and Afghan forces. A fight in Garmsir district killed 13 suspected militants, including the seven foreigners, the Interior Ministry said Thursday. The ministry did not give their nationalities, although Pakistanis fighting with the Taliban, as well as Chechens and Arabs associated with al-Qaida, periodically crop up among casualties in Afghanistan. Five more militants died in a joint operation in Helmand's Sangin district, the ministry said.