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Five killed in Afghanistan clash

Three Afghan police were killed, while security forces shot dead two Taliban rebels in separate incidents in southern Helmand province.

india Updated: Apr 29, 2006 20:07 IST

Three Afghan police were killed, while security forces shot dead two Taliban rebels in separate incidents on Saturday in southern Helmand province, officials said.

A rocket hit a police patrol killing three police and injuring another in the province's Baghran district, interior ministry spokesman Yousuf Stanizai said.

"Three police were martyred and one was wounded after their patrol came under a sudden rocket attack in Baghran district," he said. The assailants fled the area after the rocket attack.

In the other incident Afghan security forces killed two Taliban rebels in Helmand's Kajaki district, Rahmatullah Raufi, army commander for the southern military corps, told the agency.

One Afghan national army soldier and one policeman were injured in the hour-long clash with rebels.

"One police and one soldier were wounded today and two Taliban dead bodies were left on the site," Raufi said. Police also seized one PK machine gun and three AK-47 rifles, he said.

Raufi said Taliban set fire to their stock of weapons before fleeing the area.

The fighting erupted when the army and police encountered a group of rebels during anti-militant operations.

In a similar operation on Friday, Afghan forces said they had detained 10 suspected Taliban after a firefight in neighbouring Kandahar province that injured three security force personnel.

The clash took place in Panjwai district, Kandahar governor Assadullah Khaled said.

Remnants of the repressive Taliban regime have this year stepped up an insurgency against thousands of foreign and Afghan troops and local police.

The Taliban were ousted in a US-led invasion in late 2001 for harbouring Al-Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden and have since been waging an insurgency against the new government and its international allies.

First Published: Apr 29, 2006 19:43 IST