Taliban Kill Officer, Bomb Kills 2
KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) -- The Taliban ambushed and killed an Afghan intelligence official in southern Helmand province as he was walking home from work while a roadside bombing in the country's north killed a military commander and his bodyguard, officials said Thursday.
The attacks were the latest violence in Afghanistan even as the Taliban hold peace talks with a U.S. envoy tasked with finding a resolution to the 18-year war, America's longest conflict.
In the Helmand attack, the officer, who headed the intelligence department's press office for the province, was ambushed late on Wednesday, according to the provincial police chief's spokesman Zaman Hamdard. Another member of the intelligence department was wounded in the attack, the spokesman said.
An investigation was underway to find the perpetrators, Hamdard added. Taliban spokesman Yousuf Ahmadi claimed responsibility for the attack.
The roadside bombing in northern Faryab province took place on Wednesday morning, killing the commandeer of the Afghan army's First Battalion and his bodyguard, and wounding two other bodyguards.
According to Mohammad Hanif Rezaie, the military spokesman in northern Afghanistan, the battalion commander, Capt. Muhib Shah, was traveling to the volatile Khwaja Sabzposh district when the car he and his bodyguards were in hit the roadside bomb. The Taliban have not claimed the attack so far.
The Taliban now control or hold sway over roughly half of Afghanistan and continue to stage near-daily attacks targeting Afghan and U.S. forces, Kabul government officials or those seen as linked to the government — even as they hold peace talks with the U.S. and have given the U.S. envoy a document outlining their offer for a temporary cease-fire in Afghanistan.