Twenty Taliban-linked insurgents were killed in an intense day-long battle with police in restive southern Afghanistan at the weekend, authorities said on Monday.
"The fighting erupted after militants attacked the police soon after a roadside bomb struck a police patrol in Zabul province on Sunday, killing one officer," the interior ministry said in a statement.
“The police responded to the attack and killed 20 enemies. The fighting lasted more than 10 hours,” the statement said.
The fighters left their dead behind after retreating, it added.
Zabul is a flashpoint in the Taliban insurgency launched soon after the United States ousted the hardline regime from power in an invasion at the end of 2001.
Afghan security forces and about 70,000 mainly Western forces deployed to help defeat the Taliban are fighting insurgents almost daily in southern and eastern Afghanistan where the rebels are most active.
The Afghan police force is seen as a weaker target than the US-trained Afghan army and suffer most of the casualties in rebel attacks.