Several Afghans killed in clashes

Three Afghan government soldiers and four armed men have been killed in a clash in a once-calm western border area.

    Instability is threatening upcoming elections

    The governor of the province of Farah, Bashir Baghlani, blamed Taliban guerrillas for the attack on the Borjak border post with Iran.
     
    But another top provincial official, who did not want to be identified, said the attackers were men loyal to rivals of Baghlani and he linked the clash to a recent decision by the governor to fire some officials.

    It was the latest violence to hit the province, which until recently was considered one of the safer parts of Afghanistan, and shows the difficulties President Hamid Karzai faces trying to bring stability ahead of landmark elections scheduled for 9 October.

    On Thursday, police in the provincial capital shot and wounded five demonstrators after Baghlani supporters pelted police with stones in a protest responding to one against the governor the previous day.

    Policemen attacked

    On Wednesday, six policemen were killed in an attack in Farah province's Chakab area, which police said was a failed attempt by Taliban guerrillas to kidnap Turkish road workers.

    The Taliban, ousted from power by US-led forces in late 2001, claimed responsibility for the attack.

    In late June, assailants in military uniforms shot dead seven police officers in an ambush in Farah's Del Khak district. Police said that attack was the work of either the Taliban or drug traffickers.
     
    Farah province is on the border with Iran, a main smuggling route for Afghanistan's massive narcotics output.
     
    Hundreds of people have been killed in clashes this year despite the presence in Afghanistan of 20,000 US-led troops and 6500 NATO-led peacekeepers, raising concerns about election security.

    SOURCE: Reuters


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Interactive: How does your country vote at the UN?

    Interactive: How does your country vote at the UN?

    Explore how your country voted on global issues since 1946, as the world gears up for the 74th UN General Assembly.

    'We were forced out by the government soldiers'

    'We were forced out by the government soldiers'

    We dialled more than 35,000 random phone numbers to paint an accurate picture of displacement across South Sudan.

    Interactive: Plundering Cambodia's forests

    Interactive: Plundering Cambodia's forests

    Meet the man on a mission to take down Cambodia's timber tycoons and expose a rampant illegal cross-border trade.