updated 12/20/2004 3:49:11 AM ET 2004-12-20T08:49:11

A vehicle carrying a group of suspected Taliban fighters attacked a military checkpoint in southern Afghanistan, sparking a firefight that left six dead and at least four wounded, police said Monday.

Kandahar police chief Khan Mohammed said the attack occurred at 6 p.m. Sunday in Maivand district, 90 miles west of Kandahar city.

The exchange of gunfire killed four soldiers and a civilian, and the attackers left behind the body of one fighter as they drove away, police said. Security forces were pursuing them.

In a separate incident, two American soldiers were wounded when their patrol came under small arms fire northeast of Shinkay, in adjacent Zabul province, on Saturday, U.S. Maj. Mark McCann told reporters.

He said both were evacuated after the firefight and are in stable condition awaiting transport to a U.S. medical facility in Germany. It was unclear how many attackers were involved, but McCann said it likely was no more than five.

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