Taliban kill 8 Afghan policemen in ambush
Taliban fighters ambushed a police vehicle in southern Afghanistan yesterday killing eight policemen while Nato-led forces killed 10 militants in anti-insurgency operation in Helmand province.
The ambush took place in the village of Rabat in Kandahar province on the border with Pakistan, where many militants fled after the US-led invasion in late 2001 that ousted the extremist Taliban regime.
"A police vehicle was attacked in an ambush in the Rabat area of Spin Boldak district in which eight police were killed and one wounded," said local highway police commander Sahib Jan.
The Nato-led force said Monday its troops had killed a senior insurgent and nine others in an operation in the southern province of Helmand.
The men were killed in the Kajaki area on Saturday, the International Security Assistance Force said. Most Isaf troops in the region are British.
"Maulawi Hassan was killed, along with nine of his associates, during an operation that targeted his compound," Isaf said in a statement.
It said Hassan was heavily involved in illegal activities such as suicide attacks and bombings.
He reported to a senior Taliban commander, Mullah Rahmatullah, who directed insurgent activity from outside Afghanistan, Isaf said, in a likely reference to Pakistan, where Taliban and other Islamic extremists have bases.
The details could not be verified immediately with Afghan authorities.
Helmand is also a flashpoint in the brutal insurgency that last year notched up a record number of attacks with nearly 2,200 civilians killed by both sides.
US President Barack Obama, who has switched the focus of the "war on terror" from Iraq to Afghanistan, has ordered 17,000 more US troops for Afghanistan, where there are already about 75,000 soldiers under US and Nato command.
He is also preparing to roll out a major new strategy for the embattled nation in a bid to turn around a stagnant war seven years after the invasion.