Taliban claim killing of 10 Afghan soldiers
* One injured in blast near NGO in Afghanistan
* US death toll 100
KANDAHAR: Taliban guerrillas firing assault rifles and rocket-propelled grenades attacked an Afghan army post on Monday and killed 10 soldiers, a spokesman for the radical Islamic group said.
The rebels stormed the post in the Khashrud district of Nimroz province in the south of the country, the spokesman, Hakim Latifi, told Reuters by satellite phone.
The governor of Nimroz, Karim Barawi, confirmed the attack but said, as far as he knew, four soldiers had been killed. “Maybe more than four have been killed, but I know of only four,” he said.
The Taliban were forced from power by US-led forces in late 2001 but their fighters have launched guerrilla attacks against US and government forces and aid workers ever since, particularly in the south and east of the country.
Nearly 500 people have been killed since August, raising fears the Taliban and their militant allies were regrouping in remote areas along the Pakistan border.
US death toll 100: A soldier whose death in a car accident in Afghanistan was announced on Monday became the 100th US troop to die here since the start of a US-led operation in late 2001, according to official figures.
The US Department of Defence website says 99 US troops died in Afghanistan up until January 9 this year. Of these, 30 had died in hostile and 69 in non-hostile situations. On Monday the US military announced that a soldier, who was not identified, had died following an accident on the outskirts of Kabul. The US-led coalition force of 10,500 has been in Afghanistan as part of the operation since they ousted Taliban regime in November 2001.
One injured in blast near NGO: An Afghan was lightly injured in an explosion outside a building occupied by a non-governmental organisation in Mazar-i-Sharif, an NGO source said ON Monday. A small device exploded on Sunday about a metre from the door of the office of the French Agency for Technical Cooperation and Development (ACTED), the source told AFP.
The blast only caused slight damage to the building, shattering some windows, but injured an Afghan neighbour of the organisation, who was hospitalised with injuries to his leg and hand, the source said. Police have questioned two of their officers who were stationed outside the building at the time of the blast. The secretary of the city’s chief of police, General Mohammad Akram, confirmed the incident. “We are not sure of the criminal nature of the explosion,” the secretary said. “It was perhaps caused by a grenade which one of the guards exploded by accident.” Lieutenant General Abdorrazaq, security head of Balkh province, said the case was under investigation. Mazar-i-Sharif, the main city in Afghanistan’s north, is under the control of powerful armed faction Jamiat, which is made up of anti-Soviet mujahideen fighters from the former Northern Alliance. —AFP