BBC journalist among 25 killed in Afghan violence (Lead)

June 9th, 2008 - 12:31 am ICT by IANS  

Kabul, June 8 (DPA) At least six Afghan police, 16 Taliban militants and an Afghan journalist working for BBC, were among 25 killed in separate attacks in southern Afghanistan, officials said Sunday.
Taliban attacked a convoy of Afghan police in Qarabagh district of southern Ghazni province Sunday afternoon, killing six policemen and wounding another, Zemarai Bashary, the interior ministry spokesman said.

He said two civilians were also killed in the crossfire between the police and the insurgents. Three police vehicles were also damaged in the gunbattle, he added.

Meanwhile, an Afghan army commander in western region, Gholam Farouq Nahemi, claimed that 16 Taliban militants were killed and eight were wounded in a NATO-led airstrike in western Farah province Saturday night.

He said the air raid took place in Gulistan district of the province when a convoy of militants was moving towards the district. Several insurgents’ vehicles were destroyed in the attack.

Taliban and NATO officials were not immediately available for comment.

In other developments, police Sunday found the body of Afghan journalist, Abdul Samad Rohani, who was working for the local language radio station of the British broadcaster BBC in southern Helmand province.

Rohani, who previously worked for the Afghan news agency Pajhwak,was abducted by unknown gunmen while on his way from Nawa district to Lashkarqah, the provincial capital, Saturday afternoon, Gholam Nabi, a police official in the province said.

His bullet-riddled body was found near Lashkargah city.

A BBC radio reporter in Kabul, who did not want to be named, confirmed his colleague’s death, saying that Rohani’s relatives had buried him Sunday afternoon in Lashkargah city.

No group claimed responsibility for the attack. However, Taliban militants have been blamed for such killings in the past.

Five Afghan journalists, including at least two female reporters, were killed in Afghanistan last year.

Meanwhile, a suicide bomber detonated his explosives-packed motorbike in northern Afghanistan Sunday morning, killing himself and injuring three civilians.

The bomber, who was being pursued by police in Chardara district of northern Kunduz province, detonated his motorbike loaded with explosives before the police managed to arrest him, Ayoub Salangi, provincial police chief said.

Salangi said the blast killed the bomber and wounded three passersby, but no police forces were hurt in the explosion.

“The target of the attack was the Afghan or international forces in the district,” the police chief said.

German forces, who are deployed under the banner of NATO-led troops in northern region, are stationed in Kunduz province. Germany has around 3,500 soldiers as part of 50,000 International Security Assistance Forces (ISAF) in Afghanistan.

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