15 killed in pre-election Afghan violence

September 16th, 2010 - 9:50 pm ICT by IANS  

Taliban Kabul, Sep 16 (DPA) Officials said Thursday that a NATO soldier, a dozen suspected insurgents and two Afghan children were killed in separate attacks ahead of parliamentary elections at the weekend.
The NATO soldier was killed in an attack in southern Afghanistan Thursday, the military alliance said in a statement. It did not reveal his nationality or provide further details of the attack.

More than 500 NATO soldiers have been killed in the Afghan conflict so far this year, according to the website icasualties.org which tracks military deaths there.

Four suspected Taliban militants were killed in an operation conducted by Afghan forces in Arghandab district of Kandahar province in the south of the country Wednesday night, a statement from the office of the provincial governor said.

Two children were also killed near Kandahar’s provincial capital in a roadside bomb blast Wednesday night, it said.

Separately, US-led coalition forces conducted an airstrike and a follow-up ground operation in Ali Abad district of the northern province of Kunduz Wednesday night, killing eight suspected insurgents, the military said in a separate statement.

The operation targeted a Taliban commander who had allegedly been planning attacks during the parliamentary elections, it said.

Millions of Afghans are Saturday due to elect members of the lower house of parliament for the second time since the ouster of the Taliban regime. Taliban militants have vowed to disrupt the polls and have warned people not to take part in the vote.

“The Afghan people deserve to cast their votes without fear of attacks from the insurgent groups; we are continuously tracking them and taking action before they’re able to carry out their plans,” US Army Colonel Rafael Torres, a NATO official, said in the statement.

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