Blasts, attacks leave nine dead in latest Afghan violence

Other News Materials 9 February 2009 19:30 (UTC +04:00)

Suicide attacks and roadside blasts killed four Afghan forces and two civilians in weekend attacks in Afghanistan, while elsewhere a government official was beheaded by militants and two rebels were killed in clashes, officials said Monday, dpa reported.

In the latest incident, a roadside bomb killed three Afghan police forces and wounded two others in the Khogyani district of eastern Nangarhar province, the interior ministry said in a statement.

A police vehicle and five AK-47 rifles were also destroyed in the blast, it said.

Separately, a suicide bomber - who had strapped explosives around his body - attacked Afghan army forces in western Nimruz province on Sunday afternoon, killing an army soldier and two civilians, Gholam Dastigir Azaad, the provincial governor, said.

In southern Helmand province, Taliban militants stormed the house of Abdul Satar Muzahiri, head of the regional refugee department on Sunday and beheaded him, Daoud Ahmadi, spokesman for the provincial governor said.

He said police had arrested three individuals in connections to the attack.

Taliban militants have beheaded dozens of Afghan officials, security personnel and other people it accuses of working with the Western-backed Afghan government since their ouster from power some seven years ago.

Meanwhile, the Afghan army and the US military claimed on Monday that their forces killed two Taliban militants, including a commander, and arrested four others in separate clashes in Helmand and the south-eastern province of Khost.

Insurgents' attacks are on the rise despite the presence of the 70,000-strong international forces in the country. Taliban militants have steadily gained power in the past three years following their initial defeat in the US-led military invasion in late 2001.

Unlike in the previous years when Afghanistan witnessed lulls during the winter months, Taliban militants continued their attacks on Afghan and foreign forces this year despite the cold weather.