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Kabul, Afghanistan – An Afghan official says an hours-long gunbattle between the Taliban and police has left four police officers dead in the country’s eastern Ghazni province.

Hassan Reza Yousufi, a provincial councilman, said Friday that the police chief of Khogyani district was among those killed in the fighting. He said nine police officers were also wounded in the clashes, which took place late Thursday.

Separately, Ahmad Khan Sirat, the spokesman for Ghazni province’s police chief, said a tribal elder was assassinated in the provincial capital Friday. He said an investigation had been opened but that no suspects had been arrested.

The Taliban control around half of Afghanistan and have continued to launch daily assaults, mainly targeting Afghan security forces.

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