Afghan police killed in ambush

Six Afghan policemen were killed in an ambush as US-led forces launched an anti-opposition sweep over the weekend.

    US-backed Afghan soldiers are often targets for attacks

    Rocket-propelled grenades (RPGs) and automatic rifles were fired at police during a patrol in the southern province of Helmand late on Sunday, said a spokesman for the local government official.

    The attack occurred not far from a district in neighbouring Kandahar province where five police officers were killed in a similar raid earlier this month.

    Officials blamed the attack on remnants of the ousted Taliban and al-Qaeda members.

    The raid followed reports from a Taliban official that the group’s elusive leader Mullah Mohammad Omar had appointed a new deputy commander for the south on Saturday and ordered him to intensify attacks on US and government forces.

    US-backed Afghan police and the fledgling national army have been regular targets since American-led troops ousted the Taliban in October 2001.

    In the southeast of the country US and Afghan forces arrested seven Taliban suspects. A US military spokesman said they had seized several arms caches containing rocket explosives, mortar bombs and small-arms ammunition.

    11,500 US-led forces remain in war-torn Afghanistan in an effort to stamp out remaining members of the Taliban and al-Qaeda.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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