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Jul 20, 8:40 AM EDT

Afghan official: Taliban ambush police convoy, killing 2


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KANDAHAR, Afghanistan (AP) -- An Afghan official says the Taliban ambushed a police convoy in the country's volatile south, killing two policemen and wounding three others.

Police spokesman Zia Durrani says the attack triggered a protracted firefight that lasted nine hours.

Durrani says after the firefight was over, bodies of several Taliban fighters still lay by the roadside at the site of the attack at Shah Wali Kot, located about 80 kilometers, or 48 miles, from the city of Kandahar, the capital of a southern province by the same name.

Kandahar is strategically important because it borders Pakistan and was the spiritual heartland of the Taliban.

Taliban spokesman Qari Yusuf claimed that 36 policemen were killed in Thursday's attack, but insurgents routinely exaggerate their gains and casualties among government forces.

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