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Clash leaves 8 militants dead, wounds 19 in E. Afghanistan

KABUL, May 1 (Xinhua) — A clash between Taliban militants and government forces claimed the lives of eight armed insurgents and injured 19 others including five civilians in Laghman province with Mehterlam as its capital, 90 km east of national capital Kabul on Friday, a statement of provincial government said.

“A group of militants raided a checkpoint of local police on Shahid Baba area in Alinegar district at 04:30 a.m. local time today and police retaliated as a result of gun battle which lasted for a while, killing eight insurgents,” the statement said.

During the firefight, seven more militants, seven local police personnel and five civilians sustained injuries, the statement asserted.

Local police is community police force composed of villagers to defend their villages in the countryside where the presence of national police force is small.

Taliban militants fighting the government to regain power launched their so-called annual spring offensive on April 24 and since then have launched series of attacks on government interests in different parts of the country.

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