Local officials say Kandahar's police chief and eight other officers have died in a gunfight with US-trained Afghan special forces after the latter forcibly removed a prisoner from the prosecutor's office in Kandahar.
REUTERS - The police chief for Afghanistan’s southern province of Kandahar, a Taliban stronghold, and eight other officers were killed in a clash with U.S.-trained Afghan special forces on Monday, senior provincial officials said.
The clash erupted after the soldiers entered the prosector’s office in Kandahar city and forcibly removed an unidentified prisoner, said Ahmad Wali Karzai, head of the Kandahar provincial council and a brother of Afghan President Hamid Karzai.
A gunfight erupted with police when the soldiers left the prosecutor’s office, he said.
“The police chief for Kandahar, the head of the city’s criminal department and seven other police were killed in the clash,” Wali Karzai told Reuters by telephone from Kandahar.
No information about the prisoner’s identity or whether he was taken away by the soldiers was immediately available. There was also no indication of any casualties among the soldiers.
A senior provincial lawmaker, who asked not to be identified, also confirmed the clash.
Foreign troops were not involved but a spokesman for NATO-led forces in Afghanistan said they were looking into the incident.
NATO forces, boosted by an influx of thousands more U.S. troops, will soon step up operations in the Taliban strongholds of Kandahar and neighbouring Helmand province, senior U.S. and NATO officials have said.
Senior U.S. military commanders have said violence in Afghanistan has reached its highest level since the Taliban were ousted after a U.S.-led invasion in 2001.
Date created : 2009-06-29