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11 Taleban Killed in Clashes with Afghan Police


Afghan police say they have killed at least 11 suspected Taleban insurgents in gunbattles in southern Helmand province.

A senior police official says the fighting broke out in two areas late Monday and again early Tuesday. He said many of the dead insurgents did not appear to be Afghans, and were carrying Pakistani identification papers.

In the same province, the Taleban say they have killed a Turkish national they kidnapped last month because his construction company failed to meet demands to leave Afghanistan.

In London, British Defense Minister Des Browne said although NATO forces have been surprised by the tenacity of the Taleban remnants, he is confident they will be defeated. He underlined the need for Britain's allies to share the burden of fighting, saying NATO's credibility is at stake.

Browne said the fundamental point is that NATO is an alliance and that when it decides to use military force, all partners should be prepared to face equal risk.

NATO has already said it needs at least 2,500 more troops and additional helicopters for its offensive against Taleban hideouts in southern Afghanistan.

Poland responded by saying it will send at least 900 additional troops to Afghanistan by February to join the 100 Poles already there. Polish officials said Tuesday the first contingent will leave for Afghanistan later this week.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.

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