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Taliban militants in western Afghanistan have killed 11 Afghan soldiers.

The insurgents ambushed a convoy of soldiers Sunday in the Karukh district of Herat, the Defense Ministry said Monday.

Reuters news agency reports six Taliban militants were killed in the fighting.

The current summer fighting season in Afghanistan is the first time that national security forces are battling the Taliban insurgency without the NATO-led coalition forces that withdrew from the country in December. A small residual foreign force remains to advise, train and assist the Afghan police and military.