20 Afghan police killed in Taliban ambush (Lead)

January 1st, 2009 - 6:40 pm ICT by IANS  

Kandahar, Jan 1 (Xinhua) At least 20 Afghan security personnel were killed after a group of Taliban insurgents ambushed the convoy of a district chief in southern Afghanistan, an official said Thursday.The militants carried out the attack on the convoy of Mullah Abdulsallah, chief of Musa Qala district, in a remote area of Hemland province, killing at least 20 security guards, Dawud Ahmadi, the spokesman for provincial governor, said.

Abdulsallah was returning from Kajaki district to Musa Qala when his convoy was ambushed, Ahmadi said, adding that Abdulsallah escaped unhurt in the gun battle.

“Those militants disguised themselves in police uniforms and drove police vehicles while carrying out assaults,” he added.

“The investigation is going on at the battlefield.”

Meanwhile, a Taliban spokesman Qari Yusuf Ahmadi took the responsibility for the attack saying the outfit has killed some 30 security guards in the ambush.

Hemland, the strong-hold of Taliban militants, has seen security deterioration over the past 2008, despite 8,000 British troops having been deployed there.

Conflicts and Taliban-linked insurgency have left more than 5,000 people dead with some 2,000 civilians and 293 foreign troops died in 2008 in the militancy-plagued Afghanistan.

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