Police killed 16 Taliban fighters during a fierce gun battle today in southern Afghanistan, an official said.
The battle broke out late on Tuesday and continued on Wednesday in a mountainous area outside the Helmand provincial town of Garmser, which Taliban militants held for six days before Afghan and NATO forces reclaimed it on Monday, said local police chief Ghulam Rassoul.
More than 150 police fought Taliban militants holed up in rugged mountains for more than four hours, killing 16 and arresting two, including an area commander identified as Mullah Abdul Bari, said Rassoul.
An unknown number of militants fled the scene of the battle deeper into the mountains.
Rassoul believed the militants were linked to those who seized the district government headquarters in Garmser on September 6 after an attack that forced police to flee the town for the second time in two months.