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Afghan police say 27 Taliban killed in clash

world Updated: Nov 29, 2009 14:01 IST

AFP
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Afghan border police said today they had killed 27 Taliban-linked insurgents and captured a fighter from Chechnya in a fierce battle backed by coalition air support that lasted several hours.

Authorities said the clash took place Saturday night in the Tani district of Khost province, bordering Pakistan on Afghanistan's eastern flank, although few details were available.

"The Taliban attacked one of our posts last night. Police launched a counter-attack backed with coalition air support," said Sher Ahmad Kochi, senior border police official in Khost.

"The clash lasted for several hours and 27 insurgents, mainly foreigners, were killed," he said, adding that 13 bodies had been left on the battlefield.

"One wounded Chechen fighter was captured," he said.

Afghan police often operate as a paramilitary force, fighting Taliban-led insurgents under the leadership of international troops.

Ill-equipped, under-resourced and lacking solid training, they suffer high casualties and according to NATO officials are on course to lose 1,500 men this year.

The US and NATO have more than 100,000 troops deployed to Afghanistan, with deaths of foreign soldiers so far this year at 483, compared to 295 for all of 2008, according to the independent icasualties.org website.