KANDAHAR, Afghanistan – Afghan soldiers and police killed 22 militants in a clash in southern Afghanistan, the government said Sunday.
The U.S. military separately reported that Afghan and coalition forces killed four militants Saturday in the same area — the Shinkay district of Zabul province. It was not immediately clear if the reports referred to the same incident. Military spokeswoman Capt. Elizabeth Mathias said the four deaths were all the U.S. had confirmed as of Saturday night.
The Interior Ministry said the gunbattle occurred Saturday evening when an Afghan army convoy came under attack. Police came to their aid and a clash ensued in which 22 militants died, it said in a statement.
The U.S. said the joint forces were attacked Saturday by gunfire and rocket-propelled grenades while patrolling in Shinkay. They fired back and called in close-air support, a U.S. statement said.
Provincial police Chief Abdul Rahman Furjung said four bodies had been brought to the district police station but locals reported finding many more dead in the area. He also said 22 militants died.
Neither Furjung nor the U.S. military reported any civilian casualties, and the U.S. said no Afghan army or coalition troops were wounded.
On the same day, a homicide bomber was killed in neighboring Helmand province when he tried to enter a police station, the Interior Ministry said. Police shot the would-be bomber before he could enter the compound and his explosives detonated. The attacker was the only person killed, the ministry said.