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Two New Zealand soldiers and four Afghan intelligence officers have been killed and 16 injured in clashes with Taliban militants in central Afghanistan.

The New Zealand Defense Force said the soldiers were killed on August 4 near the town of Do Abe in the province of Bamiyan after they came to the aid of local security forces.

Afghan provincial governor Habiba Sarabi said the Taliban had ambushed agents of the National Directorate of Security -- the Afghan intelligence service -- during a search operation in Baghak village, Shiber district.

Several hours of gun battles ensued, in which four Afghans were killed.

It was immediately unclear whether any militants were killed.

The New Zealand government has said its 140 troops in Bamiyan would be withdrawn in late 2013.
Based on reporting by AP, AFP, and dpa

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