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Last Updated: Wednesday, 31 May 2006, 05:57 GMT 06:57 UK
Attack kills Afghan police chief
A police chief in the southern Afghan province of Zabul has been killed in a suspected Taleban attack.

Ghulam Rhasoul was killed when his vehicle was hit by a rocket-propelled grenade near the city of Qalat, a local official told the AP news agency.

At least three other people travelling with him are said to have been hurt.

Hundreds of people have died recently in clashes between Taleban-linked guerrillas and Afghan security forces, backed by foreign troops.

More than 350 people have died in the recent violence - some of the worst since a US-led invasion ousted the Taleban government in 2001.

Most of the dead are said to have been militants, killed in air strikes - but the number also includes dozens of police and four international troops.

Aid workers employed by foreign organisations have also been targeted. Three women and a man working for the ActionAid charity in northern Afghanistan were shot dead on Tuesday.

'Reinforcement'

A local government spokesman quoted by the Associated Press news agency said the Zabul police official had been travelling in the area to warn of possible Taleban attacks when he was killed.

However, an Afghan interior ministry spokesman quoted by the Reuters news agency said Mr Rhasoul was killed while coming to the aid of security forces targeted in an earlier attack.

"They were part of a reinforcement sent to help a group of highway police who had come under Taleban attack on a road of Zabul," Yousuf Stanizai told Reuters.

He said more than 10 policemen had been killed in the earlier assault.




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