At least 22 Afghan police killed in Taliban attacks

He said the attacks took place in the Maywand and Zhari districts and some gun battles lasted for hours.

However, a nephew of the police official was killed, an ALP officer wounded and parts of the house and a ranger-type police vehicle caught fire in the overnight incident.

Taliban killed eight policemen in western Farah province bordering Iran late Sunday night, according to a provincial official and the militant group Monday.

"Our forces resisted until they received reinforcement and air support", said Zia Durrani, spokesman for Kandahar's police chief. "The Taliban were defeated".

The insurgents often exaggerate battlefield casualties.

In the western province of Farah, officials said that at least three members of the Afghan security forces and three civilians died in two separate Taliban attacks.

In addition, a number of security force personnel battling the Taliban on the frontlines said that the Taliban are infiltrating Kandahar from Helmand province.

According to the United States' Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction, the government's control or influence over the country has fallen to just under 60 percent, down six percentage points from previous year.

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