HERAT, Afghanistan (AFP) – Twenty Taliban were killed in combat with Afghan and international security forces while a bomb destroyed a police vehicle, killing five policemen, authorities said Saturday.
A convoy of Afghan police and international soldiers was ambushed in the western province of Farah on Friday, provincial police chief Khalilulah Rahmani told AFP.
The forces hit back, including using air strikes. “As result 20 Taliban have been killed and 14 wounded,” he said.
It was not possible to confirm the toll independently.
The US-led military coalition confirmed its soldiers had been involved but but was not able to give a figure for rebel losses.
“Coalition forces were attacked with small-arms fire, rocket-propelled grenades and indirect fire,” Lieutenant Nathan Perry said.
“Close air support was called. We have no body count for insurgents but no soldier was injured in the operation,” he said.
The latest in a series of bomb attacks meanwhile killed five Afghan policemen in the eastern province of Paktia on the border with Pakistan on Friday, provincial governor Mohammad Akram Khapelwak said.
A spokesman for the Taliban, Zabihullah Mujahed, said men from his militia had carried out the attack.
The Taliban launched a bloody insurgency after they were removed from government in late 2001 by an international coalition led by the United States.
The violence has grown steadily despite the presence of nearly 70,000 international soldiers.