KANDAHAR, Afghanistan – A vehicle carrying a group of suspected Taliban (search) fighters attacked a military checkpoint in southern Afghanistan (search), sparking a firefight that left six dead and at least four wounded, police said Monday.
Kandahar police chief Khan Mohammed said the attack occurred at 6 p.m. Sunday in Maivand district, 90 miles west of Kandahar city.
The exchange of gunfire killed four soldiers and a civilian, and the attackers left behind the body of one fighter as they drove away, police said. Security forces were pursuing them.
In a separate incident, two American soldiers were wounded Saturday when their patrol came under small arms fire northeast of Shinkay, in adjacent Zabul province, U.S. Maj. Mark McCann told reporters.
Both were evacuated after the firefight and are in stable condition awaiting transport to a U.S. medical facility in Germany, he said. It was unclear how many attackers were involved, but McCann said it likely was no more than five.
Also Monday, international peacekeepers said they had found one of the largest ammunition caches yet at a storage facility on the southern outskirts of the capital. A Canadian explosives disposal squad that went to the site after a tip from a local man found more than 500 rockets and mortar rounds. The weapons will be destroyed.
"We are seeing this type of thing occurring more frequently where Afghans are disclosing the location of these weapons" said Lt. Cmdr. Ken MacKillop, a spokesman for the International Security Assistance Force (search). "This is an indication that the Afghan people are feeling safer now and that they believe that they no longer need to rely on the use of these weapons and ammunition in order to survive.