21 killed in Afghanistan

June 29th, 2008 - 11:58 pm ICT by IANS  

Kabul, June 29 (DPA) Thirteen policemen, seven civilians and a soldier for the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation were killed in separate attacks across Afghanistan, officials said Sunday. The soldier with the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) was killed in an explosion in Lashkargah, the provincial capital of Helmand, while patrolling with Afghan forces.

A brief statement from NATO troops in Kabul confirmed the fatality, but did not provide details about the deceased’s identity. Most of the soldiers based in Helmand are British.

Meanwhile, 13 police were killed in three separate incidents in western, northern and central Afghanistan.

Security officials in northern Faryab province say eight policemen were killed when fighters from the Islamic extremist Taliban ambushed their convoy in Shinkai district Sunday morning.

Acting police chief of Faryab, Saadiq Khan, told DPA, the police were on the way from Khwaja Qoochi district when ambushed by Taliban rocket-propelled grenades.

In western Farah province, at least three policemen were killed and five wounded, including a district chief, in a clash Sunday morning.

Provincial police spokesman Colonel Abdul Rauf Ahmadi said the skirmish was triggered by a Taliban attack on a police convoy in Zhwand district.

In central Afghanistan, Taliban fighters beheaded two police officers Saturday, according to local officials. District chief of Muhammad Aagha Bismillah Khoshiwal said the two were kidnapped from their homes in Muhammad Aagha district by four gunmen on motorbikes.

Elsewhere, five civilians were killed in an explosion Saturday night in the central Maidan Wardak province.

Local officials say the five - all from one family - were killed when explosives they were keeping at home exploded. A woman and four men were killed in the blast while a girl was wounded.

Local residents however said they heard an explosion while aircraft were hovering overhead late Saturday. Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid accused US troops of bombing the home.

In southern Kandahar province, two civilians were killed when a van in which they were travelling set off a roadside bomb in the Lakary area in Spin Boldak district, border police official Abdul Razzaq told DPA. He said the bombs were planted recently by Taliban fighters targeting Afghan forces.

In southern Ghazni province, Provincial Governor Osman Osmani escaped a rocket attack on a gathering he was holding with local tribal elders Sunday morning.

Ismail Jahangir, spokesman for the governor, told DPA that four rockets were fired at the area but no officials were wounded or killed, while a local police official said a woman and a child were wounded.

Attacks by the former ruling Taliban have increased in recent weeks in Afghanistan, especially in central and southern parts.

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