KABUL, Aug. 27 (Xinhua) -- Forty-three people, including one dozen civilians, have been killed in Afghan violence over the last 24 hours, the authorities said Tuesday.
Earlier on Tuesday, six civilians were found dead in eastern province of Paktia bordering Pakistan.
"The bodies of six civilians were found along a road in Zurmat district early Tuesday morning. The killing took place in the district, located just south of provincial capital Gardez city, 100 km south of national capital Kabul," a provincial government spokesman Rohullah Samon told Xinhua, adding details will be released to the media after an ongoing investigation.
Witnesses said the victims were employees of a local construction company in charge of building a road in the area.
In addition, six government employees were shot dead in relatively peaceful Herat province overnight.
"The dead bodies of six employees of the Ministry of Rural Rehabilitation and Development were found early Tuesday morning in Gulran district where they were kidnapped Sunday. All of them were shot dead," head of provincial criminal investigation department Israeel Khan told Xinhua.
Afghan President Hamid Karzai strongly condemned the incident.
According to Khan the victims were working for a ministry's development project as part of the National Solidarity Program.
Blaming Taliban for the shooting, Khan said that the killed included four engineers and two staff members of the project.
Separately, 10 militants and one policeman were killed early Tuesday morning as the militants launched attack in Joy-e-Ganj area of Bala Murghab district of neighboring Badghis province.
"Militants numbered several hundred raided the Afghan Border Police (ABP) checkpoints in areas near the border with Turkmenistan. The clash is going on up to now later Tuesday," the provincial governor Ahmadullah Ahmadzai told Xinhua.
He said 10 militants, including a local insurgents' leader named Mullah Abdullah, were killed in the clash in the district, which is located in northern part of the provincial capital Qala-e- Naw, 555 km northwest of Afghan capital Kabul.
One policeman was also kidnapped by the militants. General Taj Mohammad, the commander of army corps 207 in neighboring Herat province, told Xinhua that an army unit was dispatched to the area to reinforce the police forces there.
Witnesses said that more than 500 militants were involved in the attack, saying the Taliban also took control of two checkpoints there.
This is the second attack by militants in Bala Murghab over the past one week.
In eastern Kunar province, militants beheaded an off-duty policeman along a main road linking the province with the neighboring Nuristan province over night. The mountainous Nuristan and Kunar are notorious for Taliban hotbed.
The Taliban insurgent group has intensified attacks on Afghan and about 98,000 NATO-led troops stationed in the country since they launched annual rebel offensive in April. They urged civilians to stay away from military compounds and convoys regarded as target by the militants besides warning them against supporting the government and foreign troops.
At the same time, Afghan army and police continue to press the militants by carrying cleanup operations across the country.
"The Afghan National Police (ANP) carried out several cleanup operations in close cooperation with army, National Security Directorate (NDS) and coalition forces in Kunduz, Kapisa, Balkh, Kandahar, Uruzgan and Wardak provinces. As a result 27 armed Taliban were killed and 11 others were wounded, the ministry said in a statement providing daily operational updates earlier on the day.
"Also, during these operations, the ANP discovered and confiscated some amount of light and heavy rounds ammunition," it noted.
The ANP found and defused eight different types of landmines placed by Taliban in Laghman, Takhar, Kandahar, Uruzgan and Herat provinces over the same period of time, it added.
The Taliban outfit, which has been waging an insurgency of more than one decade, has yet to make comments.
A total of 1,319 civilians were killed and 2,533 injured in conflict-related violence in the first half of this year, according to a UN report released in Kabul in July.
The report attributed 74 percent of the civilian deaths to the attacks of Taliban insurgents and other armed groups.
QALA-E-NAW, Afghanistan, Aug. 27 (Xinhua) -- Ten militants were killed Tuesday morning as they launched attack on Afghan border police checkpoints in Bala Murghab district of the western province of Badghis, a provincial source said, adding the clash is still continuing there.
"Militants numbered several hundred raided the Afghan Border Police (ABP) checkpoints in areas near the border with Turkmenistan early Tuesday morning. The clash is going on up to now later Tuesday," the provincial governor Ahmadullah Ahmadzai told Xinhua. Full Story
KABUL, Aug. 27 (Xinhua) -- Afghan National Police (ANP) have eliminated 27 militants and injured 11 others during separate cleanup operations since Monday morning, the country's Interior Ministry said Tuesday.
"The ANP carried out several cleanup operations in close cooperation with army, National Security Directorate (NDS) and coalition forces in Kunduz, Kapisa, Balkh, Kandahar, Uruzgan and Wardak provinces. As a result 27 armed Taliban were killed and 11 others were wounded," the ministry said in a statement providing daily operational updates. Full Story
HERAT, Afghanistan, Aug. 27 (Xinhua) -- The Afghan Taliban has killed six government workers kidnapped by them several days ago in western province of Herat, said a provincial police source Tuesday.
"The dead bodies of six employees of the Ministry of Rural Rehabilitation and Development were found early Tuesday morning in an area in Gulran district where they were kidnapped Sunday. All of them were shot dead," head of provincial criminal investigation department Israeel Khan told Xinhua. Full Story
ISLAMABAD, Aug. 26 (Xinhua) -- Afghan President Hamid Karzai has extended his stay in Pakistan for another day on the request of Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to discuss the peace process further, Pakistani and Afghan officials said on Monday.
The visit was extended "for more talks," Afghan spokesperson Ailmal Faizi and Pakistan Foreign Ministry spokesman Aizaz Ahmed Chaudhry told the media in Islamabad. Full Story