US-led coalition forces killed about 80 Taliban fighters during a six-hour battle outside a Taliban-controlled town in southern Afghanistan on Saturday, the latest in a series of increasingly bloody engagements in the region, officials said.
The battle near Musa Qala in Helmand province - the world's largest poppy growing region - is at least the fifth major fight in the area since September 1. The five battles have killed more than 250 Taliban fighters, a possible sign that US or British forces could be trying to wrest the area back from Taliban militants.
The latest fight began when Taliban fighters attacked a combined US coalition and Afghan patrol with rockets and gunfire, prompting the combined force to call in attack aircraft, which resulted in "almost seven dozen Taliban fighters killed," the US-led coalition said in a statement early Sunday.
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