Taliban attacks police convoys

Taliban fighters have launched four attacks on police convoys, killing at least three policemen in the southern Afghan province of Helmand.

    A soldier from the international peacekeepers keeps watch

    Lieutenant-Colonel Jerry O'Hara, a US military spokesman, said American forces, including aircraft, responded to an initial attack on Afghan security forces on Friday.

    He said there were no reports of casualties among the US troops, and that the fighting was continuing. Sixteen Taliban fighters were said to have been killed.

    Helmand has been plagued by insurgents since US forces and their Afghan allies ousted the Taliban in late 2001. It is also a  region where poppy growing and drug-smuggling is rife.

    Several thousand British troops will be deployed there later this year under a plan to expand Afghanistan's peacekeeping force led by Nato.

    After weeks of political wrangling and international pressure, the Dutch parliament also agreed on Friday to send 1400 of its troops to southern Afghanistan.

    Mullah Mir, Helmand's deputy governor who was in a police convoy that came under attack, said the violence began when gunmen ambushed a police convoy, killing a policemen.

    Heavy losses

    It was the biggest attack in Afghanistan for months.
     
    Dozens of people, most of them civilians, have been killed in a wave of attacks - including 14 suicide bombings - across the south and east in recent months but there have been no clashes on a large scale.
     
    The US military said earlier that the Taliban were increasingly turning to bomb attacks on military and soft civilian targets after suffering heavy losses in battles with US and Afghan government troops last summer.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    How different voting systems work around the world

    How different voting systems work around the world

    Nearly two billion voters in 52 countries around the world will head to the polls this year to elect their leaders.

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    Russian-Saudi relations could be very different today, if Stalin hadn't killed the Soviet ambassador to Saudi Arabia.

    The great plunder: Nepal's stolen treasures

    The great plunder: Nepal's stolen treasures

    How the art world's hunger for ancient artefacts is destroying a centuries-old culture. A journey across the Himalayas.