12 Afghan security forces killed in Taliban ambush: officials

November 29, 2008

HEART (AFP) - About 200 Taliban fighters attacked a large logistics convoy in Afghanistan, sparking fighting that killed 12 Afghan police and soldiers, officials said Friday.

They attacked the convoy of more than 70 vehicles on Thursday as it was transporting winter supplies to police and soldiers in the western province of Badghis, regional officials said.
The fighting lasted three hours, and the attackers also seized about 20 army and police vehicles, including trucks loaded with goods, they said.
""Army and police were Thursday transporting winter clothes and needed materials for our forces when the convoy was ambushed by a group of 200 Taliban,"" said Afghan National Army (ANA) General Fazal Ahmad Saiar.
""Seven of the ANA were killed, 10 wounded and six disappeared. It is not known if they were captured by Taliban or they are somewhere else,"" said Saiar, from the army's western command.
The NATO-led military force helping Afghanistan fight a Taliban-led insurgency conducted air strikes and information suggested about 40 of the attackers were killed and wounded, Saiar said.
Police added five of their men were killed in the fighting, while 13 were wounded and eight remained missing.
""It is not known if they have been captured or have gone into the mountains and taken positions,"" said regional police chief Ali Khan Hussain Zada.
NATO's International Security Assistance Force confirmed there had been fighting and it had been called to help.
Taliban and other militants regularly attack supply convoys, including those headed to US and NATO military bases, but the Badghis ambush is one of the largest and most audacious.
The extremist Islamic Taliban were in government between 1996 and 2001, when they were ousted for sheltering Al-Qaeda, and are waging an insurgency to take back power.