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Taliban kill Turkish engineer, attack police

Written by: Staff

KABUL, Apr 2 (Reuters) Taliban gunmen shot dead a Turkish engineer in Afghanistan today in the second attack in a week on foreigners working on a road project in the west of the country, a provincial governor said.

In a separate attack, Taliban gunmen on motorbikes raided a police post outside a jail in the southern city of Kandahar, wounding up to five of the men, the Kandahar provincial governor said.

The Turkish engineer was travelling with three police guards in an area on the border of Farah and Nimroz provinces when Taliban in a vehicle forced them to stop, said the governor of Nimroz, Ghulam Dastagir Azad.

''They pulled him out, shot him and burned his body,'' Azad said of the Turk. They disarmed the three guards and let them go, he said.

Azad did not identify the engineer or his company. Officials at the Turkish embassy were not available for comment.

A roadside blast in the same area last week killed five people, including two foreigners working for a firm that provides security for road construction crews.

Taliban militants have repeatedly attacked U.S.-funded road works and have killed or kidnapped several foreign workers over the past year.

Kandahar governor Assadullah Khalid said the Taliban fled into the night after the attack on the police outside a jail in the provincial capital, the main base for foreign forces in the country's south.

The Taliban were ousted by U.S. and Afghan opposition forces in late 2001 and have been waging an insurgency ever since.

The past year was the most costly for U.S. forces since the 2001 invasion with nearly 60 troops killed in combat. About 1,500 Afghans were killed.

Violence has flared since the Taliban said last week they had launched a spring offensive in their campaign to oust foreign forces and overthrow the Western-backed government.

In an earlier incident, a Taliban insurgent shot dead four policemen as they slept after he had pretended to be a traveller looking for a place to spend the night.

The police let the man stay at their checkpoint and fed him dinner but at night he grabbed a policeman's rifle and shot the four dead, said Amanullah, a police official in the southern province of Helmand.

''The Taliban guy then fled and we're trying to find him,'' Amanullah said. The attack happened on Friday night.

Helmand is a hotbed of insurgency and Afghanistan's main opium-growing area.

NATO members Britain, the Netherlands and Canada are sending troops to the volatile Afghan south, where the Taliban and allied militants are most active, to take over more responsibilities from U.S. forces.

Reuters PR DB2357

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