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10 Taliban, five Afghan guards killed in ambush: governor

by Staff Writers
Kabul (AFP) Sept 12, 2008
Dozens of Taliban attacked an international military logistics convoy in Afghanistan Friday, kicking off a fierce battle that left 10 rebels and five Afghan guards dead and three missing, an official said.

The militants ambushed the convoy as it travelled through the southwestern province of Farah to deliver supplies to a base for soldiers in the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force, governor Ruhul Amin told AFP.

They attacked vehicles of a US-based security company, USPI, which made up the rear escort of the large convoy, he said.

"Ten Taliban were killed and five USPI security men were killed. Four of guards were wounded and three were abducted at the spot of clash," he said.

Police found the bodies of the dead at the scene of the hours-long battle, he said.

Two four-wheel-drive vehicles were destroyed in rocket fire and the militants took two away with them, along with the missing men, he said. The front end of the convoy, including the supply trucks, were able to drive away.

The fighting was in the Bala Buluk district which has in recent months seen several attacks by militants who say they are aligned with the extremist Taliban movement which was in government between 1996 and 2001.

Militants and bandits regularly attack convoys supplying the thousands of international troops in Afghanistan.

earlier related report
Three arrested over 'wrong information' ahead of Afghan strikes
Afghan police have arrested three men alleged to have provided international troops with "wrong information" that led to air strikes said to have killed more than 90 civilians, police said Friday.

The three were on a list of people provided to President Hamid Karzai by locals who alleged they had misinformed troops ahead of the August 22 strikes, the head of police intelligence in the western province of Herat told AFP.

"We arrested three people who were on the list. The operation is going on to arrest the others," Mohammad Musa Rasouli said.

Locals had said "these people on the list gave wrong information to foreign troops," Rasouli said. He could not immediately give details about the list or the people arrested.

The interior ministry also announced the arrests of three men in a statement that gave no further details.

Karzai visited Shindand district on September 4 and met with people who lost relatives in the strikes. He promised to arrest anyone whose "false information" may have guided the attack, an aide said.

A villager told AFP during Karzai's visit that locals believed four people who had been "spying" for the troops had passed them false information.

Afghan and UN rights investigations based on interviews with locals and video footage said that more than 90 civilians were killed, many of them children, in the early morning strikes.

The US military said however that between five and seven civilians were killed along with 30-35 Taliban, including an important commander. It has since agreed to review its investigation.

Karzai sacked two senior army commanders days after the incident.

A toll of 90 would make it one of the deadliest such incidents since the United States led troops into Afghanistan seven years ago to remove the Taliban from government and round up extremist militants.

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Commentary: Pakistan's existential crisis
Washington (UPI) Sep 11, 2008
Alarm bells suddenly went off in government offices from Washington to Ottawa to London to The Hague when Pakistan's newly minted democratic government, after almost nine years of military rule, suddenly closed the border to all NATO resupply traffic to Afghanistan.

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