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    Security and Crime

    Policemen among 20 killed in Helmand, Uruzgan

    LASHKARGAH/TIRINKOT (PAN): Up to 18 Taliban and two policemen were killed in two separate operations in southern Helmand and central Uruzgan provinces, officials said on Tuesday.

    The insurgents attacked police checkpoints in the Musazai area of Musa Qala district of Helmand, Daud Ahmadi, spokesman for the provincial governor, told Pajhwok Afghan News.

    He said 14 fighters and two policemen were killed and eight guerrillas wounded in the clash. The rebels' bodies lay at the site, the spokesman added.

    Taliban spokesman Qari Yousuf Ahmadi confirmed the loss of three fighters and injuries to two others, saying six policemen, including a commander, were also killed in the Musa Qala firefight.   

    Daud Ahmadi said two children, 9 and 13 years old, were killed in a bomb blast in the Alizai area of Nawzad district on Monday. He blamed the explosion on the Taliban, who are yet to comment on the incident.

    Elsewhere in the province, police recovered 40 pistols and 24 walkie-talkies from a car during an operation in the Nahr-i-Siraj area of Greshk district, said Col. Mohammad Ismail, deputy head of the joint Afghan-ISAF military centre.

    Separately, four militants were killed during an operation in the Khas Uruzgan district of Uruzgan province, said Ahmad Mudassir, the governor's spokesman. Taliban attacked local police, wounding three of them and destroying their vehicle. He said four attackers were killed in the ensuing fight. 

    But Taliban spokesman Qari Yousuf Ahmadi claimed 22 local policemen had surrendered to the fighters. He said the rebels had captured the district, but officials rejected the claim as groundless.

    mbg/mud



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