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Provincial Chief Judge Killed in Eastern Afghanistan

Suspected Taliban militants have shot and killed a chief judge in eastern Afghanistan.

The governor of Khost province, Arsala Jamal, told VOA News Afghan Service Thursday provincial chief judge Sher Gul was killed near the provincial capital. Officials say Gul is one of a series of judges killed by militants in recent weeks.

The Afghan Interior Ministry says police clashed with Taliban militants in the Zhari district of southern Kandahar province today, killing eight militants and wounding seven others. And in western Badghis province, police say militants attacked a NATO supply convoy. Police guarding the convoy retaliated, killing six militants.

In other violence, Afghan officials said at least seven policemen were killed Wednesday when militants attacked their post near Laskar Gah, the capital of southern Helmand province.

Also Thursday, Afghanistan's spy service says it has freed a businessman with German-Afghan citizenship who was kidnapped in Kabul almost two weeks ago. The service's deputy director, Abdullah Laghmani, says three suspected kidnappers were also arrested.

Separately, NATO says it has deployed a large number of French troops to southern Uruzgan province to help train Afghan forces.

Meanwhile, the U.S.-led coalition in Afghanistan said Wednesday one of its soldiers died from injuries sustained during a roadside bomb attack in western Afghanistan on Monday.

More than 500 U.S. troops have been killed in Afghanistan since 2001, when the U.S. military helped oust the Taliban-led government.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP.