Afghan security forces killed nine Taliban insurgents as they were preparing to attack a district police headquarters close to the Pakistan border, a provincial police chief said on Monday.
"We had intelligence that a sizeable group of Taliban militants were gathered in Spin Boldak district near the Pakistan border in an attempt to overrun the district police headquarters," said Sayed Agha Saqib, police chief of the southern province of Kandahar.
"Our soldiers thwarted the enemy's plan and killed nine of the Taliban insurgents," he said.
Taliban rebels have briefly overrun a number of isolated district centres, defeating the lightly armed and poorly trained police then withdrawing before the more powerful Afghan army or foreign forces arrive.
Spin Boldak is a border town on the main road from Kandahar, a former Taliban stronghold, to Quetta in Pakistan, where Afghan officials say militants train, rest and recuperate.
Also near Spin Boldak, five Afghan police were killed and three more wounded when their vehicle hit a roadside bomb, Saqib said on Monday.
Taliban insurgents are conducting a campaign of bombings, ambushes and kidnapping to convince ordinary Afghans their government and its Western backers are incapable of providing security.