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Nato troops killed in Afghan blasts

Three explosions just minutes apart have rocked Kandahar, killing up to four Afghan police officers in the nation's largest city in the south.

Three Nato service members also were killed by bombings in southern Afghanistan and an insurgent attack killed another in the east, raising the coalition's death toll to 11 in the first four days of October.

A spokesman for the provincial governor of Kandahar, Zelmai Ayubi, said two policemen were killed and 10 other people were wounded in the explosions, which occurred near a school.

Officials at Mirwais Hospital reported a higher death toll, stating four policemen died in the explosions and 17 other people were wounded.

Ayubi said the first explosion targeted an Afghan police office and when police gathered to tend to the wounded, two more explosions occurred.

Control of Kandahar, the Taliban movement's birthplace, is seen as key to the Afghan conflict and Afghan and Nato forces are engaged in a major operation to push out militants of strongholds there.

Nato said a joint Afghan-coalition mission on Monday killed a senior Taliban leader named Farman and two other militants in eastern Paktia province. Farman "terrorised the local population by participating in attacks, kidnappings, interrogations and executions of Afghan civilians," Nato said.

An insurgent with the Haqqani network, a Pakistan-based faction of the Taliban with close ties to al-Qaida which has been responsible for attacking coalition and Afghan troops, was captured in an operation Sunday in eastern Khost province, the alliance said.

Taliban spokesman Qari Yousef Ahmadi accused Nato of engaging in a propaganda campaign to demoralise the insurgents' moral by inventing Taliban leaders and alleging they were killed or captured.

"Most of the commanders' names Nato are using don't even exist," Ahmadi said. "This is just a game from the American side, nothing else."


From Belfast Telegraph