Taliban attack two Kandahar targets

A Taliban militia is suspected of having killed a government soldier and two local aid workers in southern Afghanistan.

    Attacks in and around Kandahar have increased in April

    The attack targeted the Panjwai district's police headquarters and the Coordination of Humanitarian Assistance (CHA) in Kandahar province early on Tuesday morning.

    "As a result of the two attacks, two CHA employees have been killed," said General Salim Khan - a senior police official in Kandahar city.
       
    "One government soldier was killed and six others were wounded in the other attack," he said, adding that about 200 government troops had been mobilised to hunt down the attackers some 30km west of city.
       
    No Taliban representative was prepared to confirm the attack, the official said.

    But previously statements by the Islamist movement have claimed that "aid-workers" are nothing of the kind and are placed to provide information for US-led occupation forces.
       
    Taliban denial

    The attack follows a Taliban denial that they are in negotiations with Afghanistan's interim president, Hamid Karzai.

    Earlier, Karzai said he was conducting negotiations with about 150 key leaders of the movement in order to pave the way before a national reconciliation in the country.

    The Taliban deny they are talking
    with Hamid Karzai

    Taliban spokesman, Hamid Agha, said in a statement received by Aljazeera that "if this allegation is right, Karzai has to announce the names and identities of those leaders".

    "If Karzai is serious about carrying out a national reconciliation, he has to call on withdrawal of US occupation forces and releasing elderly Afghans in Guantanamo Bay jails." 

    Continuing war

    Since their overthrow by US-led troops in an offensive in late 2001, Taliban soldiers have declared war against local and international aid workers, interim President Karzai's government and on foreign troops based in Afghanistan.
       
    Tuesday's raids came two days after three US marines were wounded in an ambush in another area of Kandahar, the former bastion of the Islamist government.
       
    The United Nations has been forced to halt its operations there temporarily, and the process of voter registration for landmark elections in September has been suspended because of the rise in violence.
       
    More than 650 people have been killed in raids - mostly in the south and east since August - the bloodiest in Afghanistan since the overthrow of the Taliban.
       
    The US leads about 15,500 foreign troops hunting al-Qaida and Taliban members in Afghanistan, while about 6300 NATO-led peacekeepers are mainly stationed in Kabul.

    SOURCE: Aljazeera + Agencies


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