Dist chief escapes unhurt, driver killed in blast (AFGHANISTAN)

LASHKARGAH - As skirmishes between Taliban fighters and the US-backed Afghan forces continued in the volatile Helmand province for the second consecutive day, another district chief narrowly escaped a landmine blast while his driver was killed.


Chief of the Kajaki district Abdul Razaq was on way to Sangin district when
the vehicle he was traveling in hit a roadside mine, said a security
official who wished not to be named.

The same day, Taliban had killed chief of the Musa Qala district Haji Abdul
Qudoos along with four soldiers as they attacked the district.

Confirming the blast, Interior Ministry spokesman Yousaf Stanizai said the
district chief escaped unhurt. However, he expressed ignorance about the
killing of the driver.

About two dozens people, including Taliban and government forces, have so
far been killed in two days of sporadic clashes in different districts of
the Helmand province.

On Friday, Deputy Governor of the province Mullah Amir Akhunzada said 16
Taliban were killed when they clashed with police in the Sangin district.
However, his claim was rejected by the fighters, whose purported spokesman
Qari Yousaf Ahmadi said none of their men was killed. He added 12 policemen
had been gunned down in the ambush.

Reports said the area was still in grip of tension and residents were
quitting their houses for fear of more attacks. Locals said US jets also
took part in the fighting and dropped five bombs on suspected positions of
the Taliban fighters.

Von: 4 February 2006, (Pajhwok Afghan News)-- (c) 2006 Asia Pulse Pty Limited.

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