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A fierce battle between Afghan security guards and Taliban fighters has left at least nine people dead in a village in the Afghan province of Uruzgan, officials said Saturday.

According to U.S. and Afghan officials, more than 80 Taliban fighters attacked a compound near the village manned by Afghan security guards. In a six-hour firefight, U.S. military officials said, the security guards killed eight Taliban; one of the security guards was killed.

A later NATO statement said five Afghan security troops had been killed in the fighting.

It was unclear Saturday morning whether U.S. or NATO military forces helped the Afghan forces, but a U.S. military statement made no mention of direct American involvement in what was described as “pitched” fighting.

“The Afghan Security Guards fought a courageous battle against a significantly larger Taliban force in Saraw,” U.S. Army Maj. Chris Belcher, a Combined Joint Task Force-82 spokesperson, was quoted as saying in the statement.

“Afghan National Security Forces have again demonstrated their commitment to bringing peace and stability to Afghanistan while Taliban fighters continue to bring death and destruction,” the statement said. “This cowardly attack conducted by the Taliban is another attempt to terrorize Afghan civilians.”

No civilians were hurt in the attack, according to the statement.


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