Afghan VP survives assassination bid

An Afghan vice-president has survived an assassination attempt after a remote controlled device was detonated near his convoy.

    The US leads a 17,000-strong force in Afghanistan

    Niamat Allah Shahrani, one of four vice-presidents in the interim government of President Hamid Karzai, was in a convoy with other officials in the northern province of Kunduz when it was attacked, said provincial governor Muhammad Umar Khan.

    Karzai, favourite to win a 9 October presidential election, survived an assassination attempt last Friday.

    Remnants of the Taliban and armed allies, including al-Qaida, have been blamed for a wave of violence concentrated in the south and east of the country in which about 1000 people have been killed in the last year. 

    They have vowed to disrupt preparations for the presidential election.

    US soldiers killed

    Karzai escaped a rocket attack on
    his helicopter on Friday

    Two soldiers from the US-led coalition hunting al-Qaida and Taliban fighters were killed and two were wounded in a gun battle in the southeastern province of Paktika, a traditional heartland for armed fighters, the US military said.

    Six Afghan soldiers had to be evacuated from the scene of the battle, although the US military which leads a 17,000-strong multinational force in Afghanistan did not give details of their wounds.

    Other clashes erupted on Monday between US-led forces and suspected fighters in the central province of Uruzgan and the southern province of Zabul. 

    Three beheaded 

    About 60 US soldiers have been killed in action in Afghanistan since the fall of the Taliban in late 2001. 

    The nationalities of the two fatalities on Monday were not immediately clear. Over the weekend, suspected Taliban fighters beheaded three Afghan soldiers in Zabul, a local official said on Monday. 

    Zabul security chief Jailani Khan said the soldiers, who were not in uniform, were travelling in a taxi from Naubahar district to the provincial capital of Qalat when they were stopped by a group of men which included two Pakistanis and an Arab. 


     "We have already announced that anyone in the government or aiding the infidels will be killed"

    Sabir Mumin,
    Muslim Army of the Taliban

    The three passengers were beheaded in an attack claimed by a breakaway Taliban faction.

    "We have already announced that anyone in the government or aiding the infidels will be killed," said Sabir Mumin, a commander of the Taliban Jamiat Jaish-e-Muslimin (Muslim Army of the Taliban) faction. 

    The group announced in August it had broken away from the main Taliban movement, which ruled Afghanistan from 1996 to 2001 before being ousted in a US-led war after it failed to
    hand over al-Qaida leader Usama bin Ladin. 

    SOURCE: Reuters


    Interactive: How does your country vote at the UN?

    Interactive: How does your country vote at the UN?

    We visualised 1.2 million votes at the UN since 1946. What do you think are the biggest issues facing the world today?

    '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.