- The Washington Times - Sunday, April 12, 2009

KANDAHAR, AFGHANISTAN (AP) - International and Afghan army forces killed four militants in a battle in southern Afghanistan, the U.S. military said.

The troops were attacked by gunfire and rocket-propelled grenades Saturday while patrolling in Shinkay district of Zabul province. They fired back and called in close-air support, a U.S. statement said.

Though the U.S. statement says four militants died in the battle, the provincial police chief said he had reports of as many as 22 Taliban killed. Abdul Rahman Furjung said that four bodies had been brought to the district police station but that locals reported finding many more dead in the area.

Neither Furjung nor the U.S. military reported any civilian casualties, and the U.S. said no Afghan army or coalition troops were wounded.

On the same day, a suicide bomber was killed in neighboring Helmand province when he tried to enter a police station, the Interior Ministry said. Police shot the would-be bomber before he could enter the compound and his explosives detonated. The attacker was the only person killed, the ministry said.

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