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Last Updated: Wednesday, 19 October 2005, 11:55 GMT 12:55 UK
'Taleban' kill school headmaster
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Suspected Taleban militants have killed a school headmaster and a district chief in southern Afghanistan, officials say.

The headmaster was shot by suspected insurgents on a motorbike in Kandahar's Panjwayi district on Tuesday, the interior ministry said.

The head of the province's Arghandab district was shot dead in a mosque on Tuesday evening, it said.

More than 1,200 people have died in violence linked to militants this year.

Secular

Interior Ministry spokesman, Yousuf Stanekzai, confirmed the killings.

It was not immediately clear why the pair were targeted but the Taleban have killed several prominent government and religious leaders who have spoken out against the rebels.

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Taleban officials could not be reached for comment.

Correspondents say the attack on the school teacher may have been motivated by the Taleban's opposition to Afghans sending their children to schools which the Taleban regard as secular.

Religion is taught in all state schools, but Taleban members have argued that all children should be taught in Islamic seminaries.

Taleban militants have increased attacks this month, killing several Afghan and US soldiers, local aid workers and pro-government clerics.

The violence is focused mostly in areas in southern and eastern Afghanistan, close to the border area with Pakistan, where militants are active.



FROM OTHER NEWS SITES:
Afghan News Network 'Taleban' kill school headmaster (BBC News) - 41 hrs ago
ABCNEWS.com Militants gun down Afghan official, headmaster - 52 hrs ago
Reuters Militants gun down Afghan official, headmaster - 53 hrs ago
New York Times U.S. Troops Mistakenly Kill 4 Afghan Policemen - 64 hrs ago
Arab News 2 Religious Leaders Shot Dead in Afghanistan - 18 Oct 2005
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