Clash leaves 9 police dead in South Afghanistan

Nine police including their commander were killed as they came under attack of suspected Taliban militants in southern Helmand province on Friday, an official said Saturday.

"Nine police were killed including their commander Safa Khan as Taliban ambushed them on the way between Baghran and Musa Qala district on Friday," provincial secretary Hajji Mohidin told Xinhua via telephone.

The incident, he added, occurred after police arrested two Taliban fighters in the area and in light with their admission about the Taliban's hideout the police launched a clean up operation, but suddenly came under fire and suffered casualties.

During the exchange of fire, which last two hours, a Taliban commander, Mullah Shahzada, was also wounded, the official said.

"Some 200 additional police have been sent to the area to trace the militants," the official noted.

Helmand and the neighboring provinces of Uruzgan, Kandahar and Zabul commonly known as the heartland of Taliban have been the scene of escalating insurgency over the past one month.

Over 1,400 people including rebels, Afghan and US troops as well as aid workers and pro-government religious leaders have been killed in Taliban-led militancy this year.

Source: Xinhua



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