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Taliban Kill Officer, Bomb Kills 2     01/23 06:21

   KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) -- The Taliban ambushed and killed an Afghan 
intelligence official in southern Helmand province as he was walking home from 
work while a roadside bombing in the country's north killed a military 
commander and his bodyguard, officials said Thursday. 

   The attacks were the latest violence in Afghanistan even as the Taliban hold 
peace talks with a U.S. envoy tasked with finding a resolution to the 18-year 
war, America's longest conflict.

   In the Helmand attack, the officer, who headed the intelligence department's 
press office for the province, was ambushed late on Wednesday, according to the 
provincial police chief's spokesman Zaman Hamdard. Another member of the 
intelligence department was wounded in the attack, the spokesman said. 

   An investigation was underway to find the perpetrators, Hamdard added. 
Taliban spokesman Yousuf Ahmadi claimed responsibility for the attack.

   The roadside bombing in northern Faryab province took place on Wednesday 
morning, killing the commandeer of the Afghan army's First Battalion and his 
bodyguard, and wounding two other bodyguards.

   According to Mohammad Hanif Rezaie, the military spokesman in northern 
Afghanistan, the battalion commander, Capt. Muhib Shah, was traveling to the 
volatile Khwaja Sabzposh district when the car he and his bodyguards were in 
hit the roadside bomb. The Taliban have not claimed the attack so far. 

   The Taliban now control or hold sway over roughly half of Afghanistan and 
continue to stage near-daily attacks targeting Afghan and U.S. forces, Kabul 
government officials or those seen as linked to the government --- even as they 
hold peace talks with the U.S. and have given the U.S. envoy a document 
outlining their offer for a temporary cease-fire in Afghanistan.


(KR)

 
 
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