Dozens die as Afghan boat capsizes

Taliban fighters are thought to be among 60 people who drowned in the Helmand river.

    Afghanistan has witnessed a surge in
    violence in recent months [AFP]

    Gun battles

    In a separate development, 34 suspected Taliban have been killed in the last two days in several gun battles in the southern province's Kajaki district.

    The area is near where a US helicopter went down on Thursday, killing five Americans, a Canadian and a Briton.

    An interior ministry statement said four Taliban commanders were among the 34 killed.

    The defence ministry said two Afghan soldiers were killed and two wounded in the operations.

    Family murdered

    Elsewhere, Taliban fighters attacked a local police commander's home early on Saturday, killing five of his family members and sparking a gun battle with police that left 10 Taliban dead.

    The attack in the southeastern province of Ghazni killed the policeman's wife, two sons and two nephews.

    The commander worked for Afghanistan's auxiliary police, a system of backup officers who supplement the country's regular police force.

    Other auxiliary police called to the scene fought with the fighters, killing 10 of them.

    The attack came one day after Taliban fighters targeted the home of a police official in the eastern province of Paktia.

    Six fighters were killed in the assault.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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