At least 72 militants and 11 policemen were killed in a clash between the two sides in the western Afghan province of Farah on Monday.

“The public protection police force was Sunday escorting a convoy travelling from Herat province to Helmand province,” Xinhua quoted one lieutenant colonel Farid as saying.

“Several hundred militants launched an attack on the convoy. The clash lasted until Monday morning. The gunfight killed 72 militants and 11 cops,” he said.

The incident took place in Gulistan district in Farah, he noted.

Up to 20 policemen and several militants were wounded in the clash, Xinhua reported, adding that several vehicles were also destroyed in the incident.

The public protection police force is in charge of providing security for convoys and development projects across Afghanistan. It replaced the local and foreign private security companies after the government dissolved private security firms in recent years.

In a separate incident, four militants were killed and five others arrested by police in Badakhshan province, Xinhua, citing provincial government spokesman Abdul Maruf Raseikh, reported.