Mon, Aug 28, 2006 - Page 4 News List

Toll from insurgent attacks in southern Afghanistan rises


Insurgent attacks in southern Afghanistan killed one British soldier and wounded seven others yesterday, while police killed 10 suspected Taliban militants who struck a government compound, officials said.

The soldier died of wounds sustained in shooting by insurgents in Helmand Province, Britain's Ministry of Defense said. The death brought to eight the number of British fatalities this month.

Separately, another NATO soldier and six Afghan troops were wounded when mortars hit their base in Kandahar Province early yesterday, a NATO statement said. The soldiers were evacuated to a military medical facility.

Meanwhile, a large number of militants attacked the Musa Qala district compound in Helmand on Saturday, sparking a clash with police that left 10 insurgents dead, said Ghulam Nabi Malakheil, provincial police chief.

Yesterday, attackers fired four rockets targeting west Kabul, said district police chief General Zalmai Oryakail.

One landed near the district police station but injured no one, and another one damaged a house, the general said.

Armed men also ambushed a bus transferring 30 prisoners from Kandahar to Kabul yesterday, killing one prison official and wounding one policeman, the police chief of Zabul province said.

After escaping briefly following the attack in southern Zabul Province, police and soldiers managed to capture all those that fled and took them to Kabul, the office said.

Meanwhile General John Abizaid, the commander of the US Central Command, said ``it is clear'' that militants are using Pakistan to infiltrate Afghanistan.

"I think that Pakistan has done an awful lot in going after al-Qaeda, and it's important that they don't let the Taliban groups be organized in the Pakistani side of the border," Abizaid told reporters in Bagram, site of the main US military base in Afghanistan.

However, Abizaid said he "absolutely does not believe" accusations of collusion between Pakistan's government and the resurgent Taliban rebels or other extremists.

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