Friday, June 23, 2006

Beheadings and Other Violence in Afghanistan

The violence continues in Afghanistan:

KANDAHAR, Afghanistan (AP) — A purported spokesman for the Taliban said Friday that the militant group had beheaded four Afghans it accused of spying for U.S.-led forces.

The men were abducted at gunpoint by armed men and their headless bodies were dumped in the southern province of Zabul and found Thursday and Friday, said Ali Khail, a spokesman for the provincial governor.


A man who identified himself as a Taliban spokesman, Qari Yousof Ahmadi, contacted The Associated Press by telephone and said the Taliban beheaded the four men because they had been spying for Afghan and U.S.-led coalition forces. Khail denied the victims were spies, saying they were civilians with no links to the Afghan government or coalition forces.

Beheadings are not common in Afghanistan. The headless bodies of three police officers were found in late May in the south, several weeks after the decapitated body of an abducted Indian engineer was dumped by a road.

In northeastern Afghanistan, a Danish military convoy ferrying the Scandinavian country's defense chief was hit by a roadside bomb, the Danish army said. No one was wounded, but the blast lightly damaged an armored vehicle carrying the country's army chief, who was visiting a Danish unit.

Afghanistan is in the grips of its deadliest spate of violence since the Taliban's ouster in 2001. President Hamid Karzai has decried the intense violence in the south, which since May has left more than 600 people dead, mostly militants.

Afghanistan is an awful lot like Iraq junior these days, isn't it?

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