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Gunmen Kill Lawmaker in Southern Afghanistan


Gunmen in southern Afghanistan have killed a member of the country's parliament.

Authorities say Habibullah Jan was shot late Friday in his home district of Zhari in Kandahar province. Jan was also a tribal leader.

A U.N. representative condemned the killing.

In a separate incident Friday, Afghan police say 10 Taliban militants were killed in Helmand province when the roadside bomb they planting exploded pematurely.

Afghan officials also said a U.S.-led coalition air strike on Friday killed 22 civilians in a remote district, Vanth Waigal, of Nuristan province, near the Pakistani border.

The U.S.-led coalition confirmed the air raid but said militants - not civilians - were killed. The coalition said the strike was in response to a militant attack on a base.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai has called on foreign troops to minimize civilian casualties. The United Nations says close to 700 civilians have been killed this year in crossfire between Taliban insurgents and foreign forces.

Separately Saturday, Afghanistan's defense ministry says security forces have found more than 100 knives and swords, and dozens of petrol bombs and cell phones during a search of Kabul's main jail, Pul-i-Charkhi.

The clean-up operation comes after more than 1,000 prisoners, including about 400 Taliban militants, escaped the main prison in Kandahar last month, after a suicide bomber blew open the gates.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and Reuters.

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