KABUL, Afghanistan — Afghan local officials have confirmed an attack over the weekend in southern Helmand province, saying the Taliban there killed 16 pro-government militiamen.

Two officials in Helmand say the attack took place on Saturday night. They say the attackers targeted a checkpoint belonging to the pro-government militiamen in Gareshk district.

The two officials spoke to The Associated Press on Monday on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to talk to the media.

Omar Zwak, spokesman for the provincial governor, says an investigation is underway.

Qari Yusouf Ahmadi, a Taliban spokesman, claimed responsibility for the attack in a statement sent to the media. He says two Taliban fighters involved in the attack had managed to escape, confiscating all the ammunition from pro-government fighters.

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RAHIM FAIEZ
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