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US Military: 20 Taleban Militants, Afghan Policeman Killed in Fighting

The U.S. military in Afghanistan says about 20 suspected Taleban insurgents and one Afghan policeman were killed in a fierce firefight in southeastern Zabul province.

A military statement issued Wednesday said six American soldiers and five Afghan policemen were wounded in Tuesday's fighting that involved U.S. warplanes, helicopters as well as ground troops.

It said six insurgents were detained after the clash, described as one of the deadliest in recent weeks.

The military says the battle erupted after gunmen fired on U.S. troops and Afghan police investigating a reported beating of a villager.

Taleban insurgents have stepped up attacks against Afghan and U.S.-led coalition troops as harsh winter weather conditions have improved.

Some information for this report provided by AP and AFP.