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22 Taliban killed in Afghanistan: police

War planes attacked Taliban militants who were preparing to enter the southern Afghan town of Lashkar Gah, killing 22 of the rebels including their commanders, police said on Friday.

world Updated: May 15, 2009 14:26 IST

War planes attacked Taliban militants who were preparing to enter the southern Afghan town of Lashkar Gah, killing 22 of the rebels including their commanders, police said on Friday.

A group of around 30 militants had gathered late Thursday outside the town, capital of Helmand province, and were planning to attack, provincial police chief Asadullah Shirzad told AFP.

However, authorities had learnt of the plan and called the NATO-led force to send in aircraft which bombed them outside the town, he said. "Twenty-two Taliban were killed and six of them were known commanders," he said.

Afghan security forces had moved into the area afterwards and seen some of the bodies and weapons on the ground, he said.

An insurgency led by the extremist Taliban is particularly active in Helmand, also the main producer of Afghanistan's substantial opium crop from which the insurgents earn money.

The Taliban were in government between 1996 and 2001 and are battling Afghan and international forces to take back power.