Taliban fighters killed 15 Afghan guards working for a private security company who were escorting a convoy of fuel tankers driving through western Afghanistan, an official said Tuesday. Six Taliban were killed in the ensuing fight.
The fugitive leader of the Taliban, meanwhile, dismissed the takeover last week of Musa Qala by Afghan, British and US troops as only a propaganda victory. The southern Afghan town had been in militant hands since last February.
"They have still not occupied all of Musa Qala," Omar said in an e-mailed message sent through Taliban spokesman Qari Yousef Ahmadi, in apparent recognition of the Muslim holiday of Eid. "Only the center of the town with a few shops are under their control and they think that is a great victory."
Fighting is still taking place on the outskirts of Musa Qala.
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