Taliban kill dozens of Afghan police officers in three-day battle

As many as 29 Afghan border police officers were killed after the Taliban overran two check points and seized weapons in southern Helmand province, an official said Wednesday.

The police officers were killed after a three-day battle, when reinforcements failed to arrive, according to Bashir Ahmad Shakir, a provincial council member in Helmand province.

Shakir says the Taliban initially killed 21 officers and took eight hostage, but later killed the eight prisoners.

Shakir says the Nawzad district of Helmand province, where the battles took place, is a particularly volatile area that is regularly targeted by insurgents.

"If reinforcements would have gotten there, the police forces could have survived," said Shakir, who added that the Taliban fighters captured vehicles, weapons and ammunition.

Qari Yousef Ahmadi, a spokesman for the Taliban, claimed responsibility for the attack.

The Taliban seized the northern Afghan city of Kunduz in late September. Government troops took back much of the city three days later, and on Monday the Taliban announced the withdrawal of their last fighters.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.