Afghan and US troops battle Taliban rebels

Fierce fighting involving U.S. and Afghan troops erupted Friday in a southern desert and at least two police and an unspecified number of suspected Taliban rebels were killed, officials said. The battle erupted after insurgents ambushed a police convoy in Helmand province, said local police chief Abraham Jan.

"We are still fighting them right now. There are bodies on the field. I can't say how many have been killed," he said. A senior official in Kabul, speaking on condition of anonymity because he is not authorized to comment on the matter, said two police had been killed, as well as "several of the enemy."

A U.S. military spokesman, Lt. Col. Jerry O'Hara, said American forces, including A-10 war planes, responded to an initial attack on Afghan security forces by up to 30 militants.

He said there were no reports of casualties among the U.S. troops, and that the fighting was ongoing. He deferred questions to Afghan officials on casualties among the militants, Afghan soldiers and police, reports the AP.


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