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70 militants, 15 police killed in on-going battles in S. Afghanistan
LASHKAR GAH, Afghanistan, June 26 (Xinhua) -- About 70 militants and 15 police were killed in fierce clashes between security forces and militants in southern Helmand province, sources said Thursday.
"In Naw Zad district, 70 militants and 15 police were killed during fighting since early Wednesday," the district governor, Sayyed Murad Sadat, told Xinhua.
On Saturday, nearly 1,000 Taliban militants launched a massive attack to run the restive Sangin district. Later the militants also attacked the neighboring Kajaki, Nad Ali, Marja and Naw Zad districts.
"Taliban local leaders Mullah Qudratullah, Mullah Nasim, Mullah Abdul Hakim and Mullah Toor were among the dead," Sadat noted.
According to the governor, 100 Taliban militants and seven police were also wounded in the Naw Zad battle. All the districts are located in the northern part of the provincial capital Lashkar Gah, 555 km south of Afghan capital of Kabul. Helmand is notorious for poppy growing and is a known Taliban hotbed.
A surge in attacks has been witnessed in the country since the Taliban launched a yearly rebel offensive against Afghan security forces and NATO-led troops stationed in the country in mid-May.
The Taliban has yet to make comments.
Xinhua is China's state-run news agency.
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