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25 Taliban, four guards killed in Afghanistan

A gun battle leaves 25 Taliban and four security guards dead after the insurgents ambush a convoy in western Afghanistan.
AFP | By HT Correspondent, Herat
UPDATED ON JUL 21, 2007 08:08 PM IST

A gun battle left 25 Taliban and four security guards dead after the insurgents ambushed a convoy in western Afghanistan overnight, police said on Saturday.

An Afghan civilian was also killed and five more wounded on Friday when an artillery round fired during a NATO-led exercise hit their home in Sarkano district in eastern Kunar province, police said.

Taliban militants last night attacked a convoy of a private Afghan security firm in the Bakwa district of the insurgency-wracked western province of Farah, police official Juma Khan told AFP.

"Four security guards and 25 Taliban were killed in the exchange," he said.

The battle ended when police sent reinforcements, Khan said.

The Taliban insurgency -- launched months after their 2001 ouster by US forces -- has intensified recently, having already claimed thousands of lives, mainly of militants.

Scores of civilians and some 100 foreign troops -- serving under the command of a NATO-led peacekeeping deployment and a separate US-led anti-Taliban force -- have also been killed this year.

The Taliban has increasingly adopted Iraq-style insurgency tactics such as suicide bombings and kidnappings.

A spokesman for the Taliban insurgents claimed on Saturday they had killed two German nationals abducted Wednesday. The rebels are also holding at least 18 South Koreans kidnapped this week in southern Afghanistan.

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