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In strikes on US in Afghanistan, Taliban reveals new potency

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In a sign of the Taliban's growing military vigor in Afghanistan, militants downed a US military helicopter near the Afghan capital Monday, while a suicide bomber struck and killed two Americans in northern Afghanistan.

The twin attacks come at a time of deepening divide between the US military and its allies: Pakistan and Afghanistan are increasingly calling for dialogue with Taliban militants, while Washington has resolved to unilaterally strike Taliban militants based in Pakistan.

In Warduk, near Kabul, militants fired on a Black Hawk helicopter as it was patrolling, forcing it to land, the Associated Press (AP) reports.

The crew members of the helicopter, forced down in a province neighboring Kabul, were rescued and troops were "in the process of recovering" the aircraft, said Lt. Cmdr. Walter Matthews, a US military spokesman.

At least four insurgents were killed in the exchange, said Fazel Karim Muslim, the chief of Sayed Abad district.

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