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Major Police, Taliban Death Toll From Eastern Afghan Battle

More than 20 Afghan police and scores of Taliban fighters have been killed in a battle in eastern Afghanistan.

Masoom Khan Hashemi, deputy police chief in Nangarhar Province, said the battle began when hundreds of Taliban ambushed a police and military convoy.

He said the convoy was returning from an operation to rescue a politician who was being threatened by Taliban fighters.

Hashemi said 22 police were killed.

He said 60 Taliban fighters also were killed as their attack was repelled, and another 16 insurgents were killed during the rescue of the politician.

Afghan security officials are increasingly taking responsibility for fighting the Taliban ahead of NATO’s planned withdrawal of combat forces by the end of 2014.

The Taliban are stepping up their attacks where foreign troops have withdrawn or are in the process of leaving.

Based on reporting by AFP and "Dawn"