Police in southwestern Afghanistan say suspected Taleban militants Saturday attacked a mine-clearing team, killing seven people.
Authorities in western Farah province say gunmen ambushed the team as they traveled from southern Kandahar to the western province of Herat.
Police say a total of six security guards and de-miners who worked for a U.S.-based mine clearing company (RONCO) and an Afghan woman were killed. Four other people were wounded in the shootout.
Taleban militants are waging a bloody insurgency in Afghanistan.
On Friday, Afghan President Hamid Karzai disclosed his government has held direct talks with Taleban militants.
At a news conference in Kabul, Mr. Karzai said the talks have been going on for some time.
Taleban representatives later denied the president's claim.
Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.