US presidential candidate Obama arrives in Afghanistan
The Democratic candidate for president of the United States, Barack Obama, arrived in Afghanistan Saturday for a tour of the war-torn country, reported dpa.
Obama, who wants to make Afghanistan the focus of the US foreign policy particularly in terms of the country's "war on terror," was to meet with US military commanders and high-ranking Afghan officials. According to US broadcaster CNN, Obama was also expected in the next days in Israel and Jordan. He was then going on to Berlin, London and Paris.
Meanwhile, the chief police of Kandahar told Deutsche Presse- Agenture (dpa) Saturday that a roadside blast in southern Afghanistan killed four policemen and wounded another.
Khan Mohammad - a police official in Kandahar province - said the blast struck a patrol in Maiwand district of restive Kandahar province on Saturday.
In another development, two French aid workers were kidnapped at gunpoint on Friday in central Afghanistan, officials said Saturday.
The two were abducted when a group of armed men entered into their organization's guesthouse in Neli, capital of Daikundi Province, late Friday, said Mohammad Nadir, the provincial police chief.
"The armed men tied up the guards and dragged the aid workers into their vehicles," he said.
The two French nationals were employed at the Action Contre la Faim (ACF) (Action Against Hunger) organization providing aid relief to Afghan communities at risk of acute malnutrition, the organization said in its website.
As a result of the kidnapping, ACF has suspended its current relief operations in Afghanistan, which it said benefited more than 130,000 people in 2007.
The organization added that its primary concern at this point was securing the release of the two kidnapped staff members, and ensuring the ongoing safety of the rest of its team. dpa jp sc