18 Afghan police are killed by suspected Taliban rebels

WORLD DIGEST

World Digest

October 12, 2005|By NEW YORK TIMES NEWS SERVICE

KANDAHAR, Afghanistan -- In one of the most serious attacks on the Afghan police since the fall of the Taliban government in 2001, suspected Taliban insurgents killed 18 police officers Monday along a notorious drug-smuggling route in southern Afghanistan.

The suspected insurgents ambushed a police convoy in Helmand province near the Pakistani border, prompting a seven- to eight-hour firefight Monday evening, said Muhammad Ayub, the province's deputy police chief. The victims included a regional police chief, he said.

The attack came just weeks after parliamentary elections in Afghanistan, preceded by weeks of fierce violence.

With votes counted for more than 70 percent of the seats, candidates considered mujahedeen, or jihadi, have won nearly half the seats in the lower house.

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