Afghan Forces Take Area From Taliban

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) -- Afghan forces have retaken a key southern district from the Taliban while in a western province, insurgents on Monday snatched three officers from their car, including a woman, and killed them, officials said.

The country's security forces drove the Taliban out of Naway district in southern Helmand province from where they had been threatening the provincial capital of Lashkar Gah, said Defense Ministry spokesman, Daulat Waziri.

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The battle to recapture the district had been fierce, with more than 50 Taliban fighters killed and five security forces wounded, he said. Naway is located just 16 kilometers (10 miles) from Lashkar Gah, and had been a staging arena for militant attacks on the city.

Government troops also captured a large cache of ammunitions and guns. The Taliban did not immediately comment on reports of the district's fall. U.S. and NATO troops are in Helmand to assist Afghan security forces when needed.

Separately, in western Herat province on the border with Iran, three border police officers were snatched from their vehicle and killed by the Taliban, said Jelani Farhad, the provincial governor's spokesman. A female officer was among the dead.

The officers were driving to their office in the district of Kushk in Herat province when they were ambushed by Taliban, dragged from their vehicle and shot, said Farhad.

(KA)

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