Troops kill 12 militants in southern Afghanistan gun-battle

Afghan and coalition troops killed 12 militants during a gun-battle that erupted during a raid on a compound in southern Afghanistan, the US military said Saturday. The troops encountered gunfire from in and around the compound as they approached late Friday in the Nahr Surk district of Helmand province, a US statement said. The troops returned fire and called in support to counter the threat from militants who were concealed in a line of trees and maneuvering in a field, it said. Some of the militants inside the compound tried to use women and children as shields during the battle, and calls by the troops for civilians to leave were not heeded, said the military. One child received a minor injury during the battle and was given immediate treatment by coalition troops, it said. Afghanistan has experienced rising violence in recent years from Taliban militants who went into hiding after the US-led invasion in 2001 and have been staging cross-border attacks alongside al-Qaida against Afghan and coalition forces from sanctuaries in Pakistan.