30 Taliban killed, wounded in southern Afghanistan

A battle and airstrikes in southern Afghanistan left 30 suspected Taliban dead or wounded, while six people were arrested over the killing of a female radio station owner, officials said Thursday. The battle took place Wednesday in the Garmser district of Helmand province, the world's largest poppy-growing region and site of fierce battles in recent months. Gen. Mohammad Zahir Azimi, spokesman for the Defense Ministry, said officials could not say how many of the 30 reported casualties were killed or how many wounded. He said multiple sources were used to come up with the figure. Violence has risen sharply the last several weeks in Afghanistan. More than 2,100 people have died in insurgency-related violence this year, according to an Associated Press count based on US, NATO, UN and Afghan figures.