Taliban abducts six Afghan police officers

June 3rd, 2008 - 9:15 pm ICT by IANS  

Kabul, June 3 (DPA) Taliban militants attacked a police post in western Afghanistan, killing a policeman and taking six others hostage, while several Taliban militants were killed in separate clashes elsewhere in the country, officials said Tuesday. The insurgents attacked a police post in Gulran district of western province of Herat Monday night, according to Abdul Raouf Ahmadi, spokesman for the police forces in the western region.

“The Taliban killed one police officer and took hostage six others along with their vehicle,” Ahmadi said, adding that police found the vehicle during the search operation in the area, but the whereabouts of the abducted police officers were not known.

Meanwhile, four Taliban insurgents were killed in an operation conducted by Afghan forces in Urgun district of the south-eastern province of Paktika, near the border with Pakistan Monday, provincial governor spokesman Ghamai Mohammadyar said.

He said another rebel was killed by police in the province while he was trying to plant a landmine on a road in Barmal district.

US-led coalition forces also claimed Tuesday that their forces killed several Taliban militants in a fight in Garmsir district of the volatile southern Helmand province Monday.

“Coalition forces were engaged by several groups of militants during their search,” the US military said in a statement.

“Coalition forces responded with small-arms fire, mortars and airstrikes, killing the militants.”

In another incident, the intelligence chief of Alishir district of the south-eastern province of Khost was gunned down by Taliban militants on Tuesday morning while he was on his way to the office, provincial governor spokesman Khyber Pashtun said.

Taliban militants claimed responsibility for the attack.

In other news, US Army General David McKiernan took command of the 40-nation NATO-led military alliance in Afghanistan Tuesday.

The change of command took place in a ceremony at NATO’s headquarters in Kabul city attended by foreign ambassadors and senior Afghan officials including President Hamid Karzai.

McKiernan took command of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) from retiring US General Dan McNeill, whose 15-month-tenure saw the worst militancy since the deployment of foreign forces in Afghanistan.

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