Two NATO troops, 45 insurgents killed in Afghan fighting

Taliban attacks killed two NATO soldiers and two Afghan police officers Wednesday in restive southern Afghanistan, while nearly 30 militants were killed elsewhere, authorities said. The deaths were the latest in a surge of violence that underlines the weakness of the central government six years after U.S.-led forces invaded the country and toppled its hardline Taliban rulers. Most of the insurgent strikes are in the form of roadside bombs or suicide blasts, a tactic that NATO said Wednesday had killed 227 Afghan civilians this year - a toll it said was "significantly higher" than the number of Afghan or international soldiers killed by the blasts.