Afghan police say Taliban kill 30 security guards

Afghan police said on Friday that 30 security guards had been killed in a clash with Taliban fighters and that another 15 had been wounded.

Last Updated: Aug 20, 2010, 21:51 PM IST

Kandahar (Afghanistan): Afghan police said on Friday that 30 security guards had been killed in a clash with Taliban fighters and that another 15 had been wounded.

"The Taliban attacked and during the fighting, which
lasted the whole day, 30 guards were killed, around 15 were
injured and some others were taken by the Taliban," said the
deputy police chief of southern province Helmand.

The clashes took place in Helmand`s volatile Sangin
district on yesterday, Kamaludin Sherzai said to a news agency.

Officials earlier said they believed that around 12
guards had been killed when the heavy gunbattles broke out
between insurgents and guards working for a road construction
company in Sangin.

Helmand provincial spokesman Daud Ahmadi said a dozen
bodies were evacuated today to a hospital in the provincial
capital of Lashkar Gah.

"We know that they were killed during yesterday`s
fighting with the Taliban. We don`t know whether they are
guards or workers," he said.

The Taliban claimed involvement in yesterday`s attack.
"We launched an attack on the road construction company
along the Sangin and Gereshk road," Zabihullah Mujahed, a
rebel spokesman, said by telephone, referring to the region
where authorities said the fighting took place.

"We took more than 30 checkposts along the road and
killed more than 50 guards," he said, speaking from an
undisclosed location.

The Taliban are known to exaggerate the impact of their
operations.

Helmand, along with neighbouring Kandahar, is one of the
most unstable regions of Afghanistan, where Taliban-linked
insurgents have been fighting the Kabul government for almost
nine years.

The United States and NATO have 141,000 troops in the
country trying to quell the intensifying war, with many new
deployments heading south.

PTI