Kabul, Mar 30 (AP) An Afghan official says four civilians have been killed and another eight wounded during a gun-battle between Afghan security forces and the Taliban in northeastern Badakhshan province.

Asadullah Mujadedi, a district police chief there, says the battle broke out after security forces launched a clean-up operation in Badakhshan’s Jurm district.

Mujahdedi says the Taliban, armed with mortars and machine gun rifles, fired from within the houses in a blistering battle that lasted throughout the day yesterday.

A statement from the Taliban today claimed significantly more civilians were killed in the firefight and blamed the government for their deaths. AP KIS KIS

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.