Militant fighters attacked a pair of remote outposts in Afghanistan near the Pakistani border, killing eight US soldiers and as many as seven Afghan forces in one of the fiercest battles of the eight-year war.The Taliban claimed responsibility for the deadliest attack for coalition forces in a mountainous region known as an al-Qaeda haven. The US has already said it plans to pull its soldiers from the isolated area to focus on population centers.
Fighting began around dawn yesterday and lasted several hours as nearly 300 militants flooded the outposts, said a provincial police chief, adding that 15 Afghan police were captured by the Taliban. A Taliban spokesman said a council would decide the fates of the police. Afghan forces were sent as reinforcements, but communications to the district, Kamdesh, were severed, and their status was unknown today. A US statement said the attack would not change previously announced plans to leave the area.