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Afghan Taliban kill mother,son, Lebanese man rescued

Written by: Staff
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KANDAHAR, Afghanistan, Aug 9 (Reuters) Taliban guerrillas have killed an Afghan mother and her son after accusing them of spying for foreign troops in Afghanistan, an official said today.

Separately, Afghan and foreign troops rescued a Lebanese engineer the Taliban had kidnapped last month in the southern province of Zabul, the provincial police chief said.

The mother and and her adult son were shot dead yesterday and their bodies hung from a tree in Helmand, another violence-racked south province, the deputy governor said.

''It was a brutal act,'' Amir Mohammad Akundzada said, adding the Taliban were killing civilians who refuse to provide shelter or food for their fighters.

In Zabul, police chief Noor Mohammad Paktin said the Lebanese hostage, identified only as Khalid, was rescued from neighbouring Ghazni province in a pre-dawn raid by Afghan and US-led coalition forces.

The Taliban had threatened to kill the man, who worked for a U.S.-funded road project in Zabul, unless the government freed several Taliban prisoners.

The Taliban could not be contacted for immediate comment about either incident. But the militants have in the past executed several Afghans after accusing them of spying for US-led troops.

The US military, separately, said 12 Taliban fighters were killed in a clash in eastern Nuristan province yesterday. Two US soldiers and one Afghan soldier were wounded.

Afghanistan is going through its worst violence since US-led forces overthrew the Taliban government in 2001.

Almost 1,800 people have been killed in attacks by Taliban, drug barons and operations by foreign forces this year, mostly in the south and east, the Taliban's homeland.

The victims include militants, civilians, aid workers, Afghan security forces and almost 80 foreign troops.

REUTERS DKA PM1519

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