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Mr. Graybeal said one police officer was killed in the clash with NATO troops but that the other officers at the site fled and it was unclear if they were involved in the attack or not.

Two NATO troops were wounded and were receiving treatment, Mr. Graybeal said. He did not say how serious the injuries were.

Afghan officials said the checkpoint in Zabul province’s Mizan district came under attack first from insurgents sometime around midnight. U.S. forces came to help the Afghan police respond to the attack, said Ghulam Gilani, the deputy police chief of the province.