Taliban behead Afghan man and woman, police say

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GHAZNI, Afghanistan, Nov 3 (Reuters) Afghan police have found the beheaded bodies of two Afghan civilians in Ghazni province, southwest of the capital Kabul, the provincial police chief said today. Taliban insurgents have beheaded dozens of people in Afghanistan in the last two years, accusing them of aiding the pro-Western Afghan government and foreign forces the hardline Islamist insurgents are battling to oust.

''We were informed by local residents that the bodies of a man and a woman were found beheaded in the Rashidan district,'' said Ghazni police chief Ali Shah Ahmadzai. ''The Taliban kidnapped them from the same district three days ago.

''The Taliban insurgents accused them of spying and providing information about the Taliban to foreign and Afghan forces in the area,'' he told Reuters.

But a Taliban spokesman denied any involvement in the killing and said it might have been the result of tribal enmity.

''It must have been the work of the Taliban militants,'' said Ahmadzai. ''The Taliban kill people by beheading, no one else.'' So far this year, Afghan authorities have found about 15 beheaded bodies of Afghans in Ghazni province.

Further south, a Dutch soldier was killed by a bomb in the province of Uruzgan, the Dutch military said today.

REUTERS SKB KN1820

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