Mon, Sep 03, 2007 - Page 5 News List

Afghan forces nab bombmaking suspects

AFP AND AP , KANDAHAR AND KABUL, AFGHANISTAN

Afghan authorities said yesterday they had detained four Pakistanis on suspicion of helping insurgents build bombs, as new blasts killed three soldiers and wounded at least a dozen people.

The alleged militants were nabbed on Friday in Kandahar soon after they arrived from Chaman, a town just across the border in Pakistan, intelligence official Abdul Qayoum Katawazi said.

"On a tip-off we captured four Pakistanis who are experts in making suicide-bombing vests and remote-controlled bombs," he said.

Meanwhile, US-led coalition and Afghan security forces backed by airpower killed about 70 suspected militants, authorities said.

Afghan security forces backed by US-led troops raided compounds in three villages in the remote Pitigal Valley border region late on Friday. Intelligence showed that top militant leaders take refuge in the area as they travel between Pakistan and Afghanistan, the coalition said on Saturday.

The troops killed more than 20 insurgents and detained 11 others in the raids, which took place just 6km from the border. They discovered a bomb-making factory and seized various weapons and communication gear, the statement said. One coalition soldier was injured in the raids, it said.

Meanwhile, a bomb attached to a bicycle in a commercial district of Mazar-e-Sharif wounded nine people, two seriously, police spokesman Sher Jan Durani said.

In Ghazni Province, Afghan police attacked Taliban fighters planning to strike security forces, killing 18 and arresting six others, provincial police General Ali Shah Ahmadai said.

Almost two dozen insurgents were killed in a clash in the Musa Qala, Helmand Province.

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