Afghan officials: 6 police killed in battle with IS

Afghan officials: 6 police killed in battle with IS

That effort, however, has been stalled by the slow pace of the development of the Afghan military and the resilience of the Taliban. Officials said that the death toll may rise as numerous injured are in a critical condition.

Afghanistan's Nangarhar province is where Taliban insurgents are active, but IS fighters have also set up bases in some remote border districts and have occasionally engaged in bloody clashes with the Taliban.

The officials said under the new policy the USA commander in Afghanistan, General John Nicholson, will be able to decide when it is appropriate for American troops to accompany conventional Afghan forces into the field.

"This is using the forces we have...in a better way, basically, as we go through this fighting season, rather than being simply reactive", Pentagon chief Ashton Carter said.

Nicholson's predecessor, Gen. John Campbell, made it known before he left Kabul in March that he believed Carter should consider expanding USA military authorities to take on the Taliban.

'We may not need more boots on the ground, but we need their advisors and we need them to equip our air force. Campbell favored keeping the troop level at the current total of 9,800 into next year. About 1,000 of them are involved in a U.S.-only counter-terrorism mission that targets al-Qaeda and ISIS-affiliated forces. In May, the Obama administration killed the leader of the Taliban, Mullah Akhtar Mansour, by airstrike while he was in Pakistan.

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