A gun battle between police and insurgents left four officers and 20 suspected militants dead as violence from Afghanistan's bloodiest year since the fall of the Taliban spread to the normally quiet northwest, an official said Thursday.
The militants attacked police in the Murghab district of Badghis province, which borders Iran and Turkmenistan, and a three-hour clash ensued, said provincial Gov. Mohammad Ashraf Nasiri. He said the bodies of 10 militants were left behind on the battlefield but that a total of 20 were killed and nine wounded. Four policemen also were killed, he said.