At least 10 killed in Afghanistan clashes

January 27th, 2009 - 6:38 pm ICT by IANS  

TalibanKabul, Jan 27 (DPA) Two police officers and three civilians were killed in two Taliban attacks in eastern Afghanistan, while police supported by NATO troops killed five Taliban fighters including a commander in the volatile south, officials said Tuesday.Rebels ambushed a police vehicle in the Ghazni Abad district of the eastern province of Kunar Monday night, killing two border police officers, provincial police chief Abdul Jalal Jalal said.

Four other policemen were wounded, he said, adding that police units were deployed to the area to track down the attackers.

Three civilians were killed Monday in the neighbouring province of Nangarhar when the vehicle they were travelling in was struck by a roadside bomb in Japarhar district, the interior ministry said.

Police in the Nawa district of the southern province of Helmand killed five Taliban militants, including a commander named Mullah Khalid, in a clash backed by NATO troops Monday, said Assaullah Shirzad, provincial police chief.

The clash left no casualties among the Afghan or international forces, he said.

Separately, two police officers were wounded Tuesday in roadside bombing in neighbouring Kandahar province, police said.

After its ouster from power in late 2001 in a US-led invasion, the Taliban reorganised its fighters and has since waged a bloody insurgency against Afghan and international security forces. The militants have steadily grown in numbers and gained ground in the past three years.

The militants even penetrated areas around Kabul last year, posing a direct threat to the country’s capital.

Wary of the Taliban’s progress, the US government, which has already deployed about 33,000 soldiers as part of a 70,000-strong NATO-led international force in the war-wracked country, has planned to send up to 30,000 additional troops to contain the Taliban insurgency in 2009.

US President Barack Obama, who had vowed to make the war in Afghanistan a top priority during his presidential campaign, has endorsed the additional troop commitment.

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