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23 Afghani Police Officers Killed in Taliban Attacks, 9 Killed in NATO-Chartered Plane Crash

July 6, 2011

Taliban attacks in Afghanistan kill 23

Published: July 6, 2011 at 9:35 PM Comments (0) Email Print Listen

KABUL, Afghanistan, July 6 (UPI) --

Taliban fighters hit several border outposts in remote northeastern Afghanistan Wednesday, killing 23 police officers, a provincial governor said.

Nuristan provincial Gov. Jamaluddin Badar told The New York Times several civilians were also killed and a number of houses were torched during the attacks on the police outposts in the Gordish Valley.

The Interior Ministry said 12 police officers were killed but Badar said, "Twenty-three Afghan border police officers were martyred and seven others were wounded."

Badar and former Gov. Tamim Nuristani blamed the attacks on Taliban and foreign fighters, including Pakistanis, the newspaper said.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai condemned the attack and said Pakistani Taliban were responsible.

The Times said there were also reports of 10 civilian deaths in a NATO strike against insurgents in Khost District in eastern Afghanistan. Provincial police Chief Sardar Mohammed Zazai said eight children and two women were killed when NATO forces bombed a house where the Taliban sought shelter while being chased by a joint American-Afghan force.

A NATO spokesman said he was aware of the attack and that civilians may have been present but had no details, the newspaper said.

Read more:

Nine likely dead in Afghanistan plane crash

Published: July 6, 2011 at 3:41 PM Comments (0) Email Print Listen

KABUL, Afghanistan, July 6 (UPI) --

A NATO-chartered cargo plane crashed northwest of Kabul early Wednesday, and Afghan authorities said all nine people aboard were likely killed.

The Washington Post reported officials said no Americans were aboard the Azerbaijani aircraft, a Russian-made IL 76 that was en route from Baku to Bagram Air Base. The plane had been flying at about 12,500 feet when it went down in the Ghorband valley, the Post said.

The Taliban claimed the plane was shot down. But provincial Gov. Basir Salangi said it was flying too high for Taliban weapons to have hit it, and Maj. Tim James, a NATO spokesman, said there was "absolutely no indication that there was any insurgent activity" in the area at the time.

Salangi said officials sent to the site had reported the plane was destroyed and all those on board had died, the newspaper said.

Mohammad Yaqub Rassuli, head of the Kabul airport, said there had been no word on the nationalities of the crew members.

He told China's state-run Xinhua news agency the plane was carrying supplies and goods for coalition forces when it crashed in the mountainous area about 30 miles northwest of Kabul.

Read more:

Hundreds of Afghans protest NATO air raid deaths

By Ahmad Mustafa in GHAZNI and Sharafuddin Sharafyar in HERAT

July 6, 2011

GHAZNI, Afghanistan (Reuters) -

Hundreds of people gathered in a restive Afghan province to protest the deaths of two young shepherds they said were killed by a foreign air strike on Wednesday, an Afghan official said.

Elsewhere, 32 men from a mine clearance organisation were kidnapped by unknown gunmen in the west of the country, a provincial governor said.

NATO-led forces said an air strike killed one man in Ghazni province, southwest of Kabul, after he was observed digging in the road at a spot where a homemade bomb had previously been buried.

"We have reports that an individual who was planting an IED (improvised explosive device) in a road in Khogyani district was observed and subsequently engaged by an air strike. The individual was killed," said ISAF spokesman Major Tim James.

Residents of Khogyani took two bodies to the provincial capital, Ghazni city, provincial police chief Zelawar Zahed told Reuters. The residents said both were shepherds, not insurgents, and had been killed in an air strike.

Around 250 people demonstrated in Khogyani and then tried to take their protest to Ghazni City but only around 50 were allowed to enter, Khogyani district governor Munshi Habib said.

Protesters chanted slogans like "death to foreign troops" for around two hours, before dispersing peacefully, Zahed added.

ISAF said there was only one death reported from the air strike on the road in Khogyani.

The mistaken killing of civilians by foreign troops is a major source of friction between Afghan President Hamid Karzai and his Western backers, and has soured the feelings of many ordinary Afghans towards foreign forces.

As violence has spread across the country, casualties have risen, and the United Nations said May was the deadliest month for civilians since they began keeping records four years earlier.

However, the United Nations also said insurgents are responsible for the majority of deaths, over 80 percent of the 301 civilians killed in May.

Separately on Wednesday morning in western Farah province, unknown gunmen kidnapped 32 members of a de-mining team, and burnt one of their vehicles, Farah provincial governor Rohullah Amin said.

They were in the Bakwa district at the request of residents and elders promised to work for their release, Amin said.

Insurgents have been suspected of organising past kidnappings of de-mining teams in other parts of the country. Taliban spokesman Qari Mohammad Yousuf said the group was not aware of any kidnapping in Farah.

(Reporting by Ahmad Mustafa in GHAZNI and Sharafuddin Sharafyar in HERAT; Writing Emma Graham-Harrison; Editing by Sugita Katyal)

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