AFGHANISTAN – Nov 23

AFGHANISTAN – Nov 23 – Taliban Militants Behead 7 Police In Southern Afghanistan

Taliban militants behead seven policemen after overrunning their checkpoints in southern Afghanistan. An Australian soldier and three civilians were also killed in a separate clash. Six other police officers were missing after the Taliban attacked police checkpoints in Arghandab district, in Kandahar province, said Abdul Hakim Jan, a police officer. The attack in the strategic area of Arghandab, 25 kilometers (15 miles) north of Kandahar city, came weeks after Afghan and foreign troops forced Taliban militants to relinquish control of the town, which they had briefly captured. During Nov 23 attack, the militants ambushed police checkpoints set up to keep the Taliban fighters away from the town and beheaded seven policemen, said Mullah Muhammad Nabi, a purported Taliban commander in the area In neighboring Uruzgan province, an Australian soldier and three civilians were killed during an attack on Taliban bomb-makers in the provincial capital of Tirin Kot, Australia’s defense chief said. It was Australia’s third combat death in the conflict, all in the past two months. Air Chief Marshal Angus Houston said Pvt. Luke Worsley, 26, was killed while participating in “a planned and deliberate attack by our forces against Taliban leaders and bomb-makers”. After the clash, three civilians – two women and one child – were found dead in the militants’ compound, NATO’s International Security Assistance Force said. It was not known how they died, a NATO statement said. “However, we do know that the insurgents fired upon ISAF soldiers from the compound in which the Afghan civilians were found after the fight”, the statement said. Separately, US-led coalition troops clashed with militants in central Afghanistan, leaving several suspected insurgents dead and one coalition member wounded, the coalition said in a statement. The troops were searching compounds in Nawur district, in Ghazni province, when militants opened fire with small arms fire, the statement said. “Coalition forces returned fire, killing a number of militants”, the statement said. “There were no indications of injuries or deaths to civilians not taking part in hostilities”. Two people were detained for questioning, the statement said. ore than 6,000 people have been killed in insurgency-related violence in 2007, according to an Associated Press count based on figures from Western and Afghan officials.

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