Taliban ambushed a police patrol in Afghanistan's southern province of Kandahar overnight Saturday, killing four policemen and wounding three more, a police chief said.
The police were on patrol on Friday in the insurgency-hit Panjwayi district when Taliban fighters opened fire, kicking off a gunbattle, provincial police chief General Asmatullah Alizay told the agency.
"Four police were martyred and another three were wounded," Alizay said. He did not say if there were casualties on the Taliban side.
A purported Taliban spokesman, Yousuf Ahmadi, claimed responsibility for the ambush in a telephone call from undisclosed location.
Ahmadi claimed around 10 police were killed and wounded.
Police are regular targets of Taliban attacks in an insurgency launched after the hardliners were removed from government in late 2001.
Southern Afghanistan sees most of the violence. Police reported yesterday that 10 Taliban were killed the previous day in clashes with Afghan and British troops near a major dam project in Helmand province.
The small town of Musa Qala, also in Helmand, has meanwhile been in Taliban hands for more than a week with the government able to call on NATO military support to oust the rebels but saying it wants a peaceful solution.
Afghanistan saw a dramatic increase in the level of Taliban-led militancy in 2006 with more than 4,000 people killed, most of them rebels.