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Dozens Of Afghan Police Reported Killed In Helmand Fighting

Afghan policemen keep watch during a battle with the Taliban in the Nahr-e Saraj district of Helmand Province on May 11.

Dozens of members of Afghan police forces have been reported killed over the past two days in heavy fighting in the southern province of Helmand.

Provincial police commander Esmatullah Dawlatzai said more than 50 police officers were killed on May 29-30.

Helmand hospitals have received more than 50 wounded, most of them members of Afghan security forces, said the head of Helmand's public health department, Enayatullah Ghaffari.

Reports said Taliban fighters had overrun a number of security checkpoints in the Nahr-e Saraj, Greshek, and Nad Ali districts around the regional capital, Lashkar Gah.

"Our troops are there and arrived there," Defense Ministry spokesman Dawalat Wazeri told RFE/RL. "Our air force is also informed and they are operating."

Helmand has been the scene of major offensives over the past year by Taliban militants seeking to overthrow the Kabul government.

With reporting by Reuters and dpa