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Afghanistan Clashes Kill 22 Border Police


Afghan officials said Wednesday that at least 22 border police and 35 Taliban insurgents had been killed in fierce fighting that erupted in southern Helmand province.

The officials said about a dozen Afghan security personnel were wounded in the clashes in Nawzad district.

The Taliban overran Nawzad district about two months ago. The militants also seized parts of the strategic Musa Qala district of Helmand at the time, but authorities claim to have flushed the Taliban out of that area.

The Islamist insurgents have made battlefield gains in Afghanistan and inflicted heavy casualties on national defense forces since the end of the NATO-led combat mission in December 2014. The Taliban, however, have not been able to maintain their hold on territories they have captured.

Tuesday, the Taliban announced that their fighters had withdrawn from the northern city of Kunduz, which the insurgents took over for several days late last month.

Meanwhile, officials in central Uruzgan province have reported deadly clashes between security forces and Taliban fighters in Charchinu district.

Wali Dad, the district police chief, told the local Pajhwaok news agency that three days of clashes had left at least 38 police dead and 40 more wounded. He said 65 Taliban militants had also been killed in the fighting.

Dad said the insurgents had blocked all roads, including the main route connecting Charchinu with the provincial capital, Tirinkot.

The Taliban have not yet commented on Wednesday's fighting in the two Afghan districts.