Afghan clashes leave 14 Taliban dead

Suspected Taliban fighters have attacked two police checkpoints along a highway in southern Afghanistan, sparking clashes that left 14 fighters dead, the Afghan police said.

    Security forces are increasingly coming under attack

    The clashes in Zabul province followed heavy fighting on Friday in neighbouring Kandahar province, that officials say left 41 militants and six police dead - the biggest battle in a recent upsurge of rebel violence that threatens the war-battered nation's new democracy.

    About 30 Taliban attacked the police posts late on Saturday in Qalat district, about 100km northeast of Kandahar, Ghulam Nabi Malakhail, the Zabul police chief said.

    There were no casualties among the police and the Taliban retrieved the bodies of their slain comrades after the fighting that lasted about 30 minutes, Malakhail said.

    Qari Yousaf Ahmadi, a purported Taliban spokesman, claimed responsibility for the attack, saying at least seven police were killed and the Taliban burned one of the police posts.

    It was not immediately possible to verify his claim, nor the death toll provided by police.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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