KABUL  - A senior Taliban commander and 24 of his fighters were killed in a battle with Afghan security forces in a northern village which also left five police dead, officials said Thursday.The commander of the attack was the Taliban shadow governor for the northern province of Faryab where the gunfight took place on Wednesday, according to the officials. “The brutal enemies of Afghanistan attacked a village bazaar. They killed five local police,” Abdul Satar Barez, the Faryab deputy governor, told AFP. “When we received reports about the incident we sent reinforcements. 25 Taliban including Mullah Yaar Mohammad, their shadow governor for Faryab, were killed,” Barez said.The Taliban are traditionally active in southern and eastern parts of Afghanistan. But in recent years the militants have infiltrated previously peaceful parts such as the northern provinces. Barez said the death of the Taliban shadow governor had dealt the insurgents in his region a major blow. Despite being toppled from government by a US-led invasion in 2001, the Taliban have shadow provincial administrations headed by governors, which tax the population and run their own form of justice, often including executions.NATO has some 100,000 troops helping the Western-backed government of President Hamid Karzai fight the insurgents, but they are due to leave by the end of 2014.Meanwhile, two American soldiers were killed by a man in an Afghan police uniform on Thursday while British troops killed two of their own soldiers in a ‘friendly fire’ incident in Afghanistan, US military and Afghan police said. Thursday’s attack happened in the central province of Uruzgan.“Two US Forces-Afghanistan service members died after an individual wearing an Afghan National Police uniform turned his weapon against them in Khas Uruzgan, Uruzgan,” the US military in Afghanistan said.It is believed to be the first such attack since September 30, when a firefight between Nato troops and their Afghan allies killed five people, including one US soldier and a civilian contractor.British troops killed two of their own soldiers in a ‘friendly fire’ incident in Afghanistan, Afghan police said Thursday, while Britain’s Ministry of Defence said the shooting was still under investigation.Two British soldiers, one of them a female medic, and a man believed to be an Afghan policeman died in the incident in Helmand province, the ministry said in London, adding that it did not know at this stage what initiated the gunfire.Helmand police spokesman Farid Ahmad Farhang said the deaths were due to a mistaken belief by a British patrol that they were under fire from insurgents — while the shooting actually came from a second British patrol.“There were two groups of British soldiers foot-patrolling an area called Malgir in Greshk district yesterday at around 5:00 pm,” Farhang said.“As one group proceeded to a village they saw a policeman in civilian clothes performing ablutions (before prayers). The British soldiers thought he was a Talib and opened fire on him, killing him on the spot.“The second group of British soldiers who were coming from a distance thought they were attacked by the Taliban and opened fire in the direction they had heard the gunfire, killing two of their colleagues,” Farhang said.This version of events was confirmed by Mohammad Ismail Hotak, the head of the coordination centre of Afghan forces in Helmand province.Farhang said local officials with Nato’s International Security Assistance Force had “confirmed it was a mistake and friendly fire which killed the two British”.In Kabul an Isaf spokesman told AFP: “We are tracking that reporting and at this point I’ll call it a rumour that’s out there.“Unfortunately there is an ongoing assessment being done to look into the cause of that event and we do not have definitive operational reporting at this time to confirm that. “Hopefully we will get some kind of resolution sometime today or tomorrow.”Britain’s ministry of defence said: “There was an exchange of gunfire that resulted in the deaths of a Royal Marine... a female soldier from 3 Medical Regiment and an Afghan man who is believed to be a member of the Afghan Uniformed Police but who was not wearing uniform at the time. “The UK patrol were not working with any Afghan partners at the time.”