Afghan, NATO say Taliban continued attacks on Peace Day kill two

Other News Materials 22 September 2008 13:24 (UTC +04:00)

The Afghan defence ministry and NATO accused Taliban militants of failing to observe UN-backed Peace Day as two government soldiers were killed and a district governor wounded in rebel attacks, officials said Monday.

The army, NATO commanders and Taliban leaders pledged Saturday to refrain from offensive operations and remain in self-defence positions to respect the September 21 international peace day, reported dpa.

The United Nations office called Sunday "remarkable" and said that guns fell silent in many areas of Afghanistan as all sides involved in the country's conflict observed a ceasefire.

However, NATO forces said in a statement Monday that Taliban militants killed a police officer in Dahana-e-Ghuri district in northern Baghlan province on Sunday, while an Afghan army soldier was killed in Sangin district of southern Helmand province on the same day.

"Regrettably but not unsurprisingly, the criminal insurgents did not honour their own declaration of support for the Day of Peace," the alliance said in a statement.

Afghan defence ministry also said that a district governor for Bermal district of south-eastern province of Paktika was wounded on Sunday when a guerrilla disguised in an army uniform shot him.

Army soldiers reacted and killed the attacker, the statement said.

The statement said that militants also fired several rockets on army bases in eastern provinces of Paktika, Kunar and Nuristan, but caused no casualties.

NATO said "there were 28 recorded incidents across the country during the Peace Day, to many of which the ANSF and ISAF were forced to respond to maintain the safety of the civilian population."

There was an unconfirmed report in Bala Buluk district of western Farah province that "as many as 131 innocent civilians had been kidnapped" by Taliban militants.

Taliban spokesmen were not available for comment.

The militants, who were ousted from power in US military invasion in late 2001, have waged an insurgency to topple the Western-backed Afghan government and to expel some 70,000 international troops from the country.