Taliban militants attacked a police station in southern Afghanistan, killing three officers, and abducted 19 people working for a land mine clearance project in the country’s east, officials said on Monday. Reuters was there:
The attacks came amid spiraling violence as Taliban insurgents and the U.S.-trained Afghan government forces vie for control after the end of the NATO combat mission last year saw most foreign troops withdraw. Gunmen wearing police uniform entered a police station in Helmand province on Sunday and opened fire, killing three police, said provincial deputy police chief Pacha Gul Bakhtyar.
The attack took place in Lashkar Gah, the provincial capital. Afghanistan’s armed forces launched a major offensive against Taliban insurgents in Helmand this spring. The kidnap of the de-miners in the eastern province of Paktia was the latest in a series and came days after four abducted ethnic Hazara men were killed by their captors.
Abdul Wali Sahi, deputy governor of Paktia, said the Taliban abducted the de-miners on Sunday while they were surveying an area on the outskirts of Gardez, the provincial capital. The abducted de-miners were employees of Sterling Demining Afghanistan, Sahi said. The company holds mine-clearing contracts throughout Afghanistan.