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Officials: 14 Afghan soldiers, 64 Taliban killed

KABUL, Afghanistan — A roadside bomb seriously wounded a prominent member of Afghanistan's High Peace Council on Sunday, an official said, while the government announced that recent fighting in the country has killed 14 Afghan soldiers and 64 Taliban militants.

Fazil Ahmad, the High Peace Council's chief in Ghazni province, was in critical condition in a hospital with three others who had been traveling with him when their vehicle hit a roadside bomb, said deputy provincial police chief Asadullah Ensafi. The car's driver was killed.

The High Peace Council numbers about 80 members and has been tasked by President Hamid Karzai with finding a negotiated settlement with insurgents.

In Kabul, the Defense Ministry said 14 soldiers and 27 Taliban militants had been killed in fighting and in roadside bomb attacks over the previous 24 hours.

The ministry said the casualties included 10 Taliban fighters killed in a single operation in Wardak province, west of Kabul. Three soldiers were killed in Wardak by artillery fire and roadside bombs.

Seven more soldiers were killed in Helmand province by roadside bombs, and four others were killed in other attacks across the country.

The Interior Ministry, which controls the country's police forces, reported another 37 Taliban killed. It announced no police casualties.

The Afghan army and police, which took over security operations from NATO-led coalition forces this year, have lost 927 troops through June, according to an Associated Press count.

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