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Three Shot Dead in Afghan Capital


Afghan police say the two top officials of an international shipping company and one of their security guards were shot dead Saturday in front of their office in Kabul. VOA correspondent Steve Herman reports from the Afghan capital the killings are the latest in a series of attacks on foreign nationals there.

Afghan officials say the two Westerners were gunned down as they sat in a vehicle in front of the German-owned freight company DHL.

On the scene, General Mirza Mohammad Yarmand, the director of the Interior Ministry's criminal investigation department, told reporters the shots were fired from inside the DHL office.

General Yarmand says one of the guards at the DHL facility fired at the vehicle, killing the two foreign company officials and their Afghan bodyguard. He says a motive has not been established.

The DHL office is located at a busy intersection across from the Iranian Embassy, in an upscale section of Kabul.

Police and diplomats say the two DHL officials - the country director and deputy director -- were from Britain and South Africa.

Officials of Saladin, a British-based private security company confirmed to VOA News that the Afghan guard who died was employed by them.

Authorities say two other Afghans, standing outside the DHL office, were wounded in the shooting.

Police detained 13 people, including DHL employees and guards. Interior Ministry officials say they are questioning them to determine whether the shooting stemmed from an "internal dispute" or outsiders were involved.

The latest violence comes less than a week after the shooting death of Gayle Williams, a British-South African national working for a Christian charity in Kabul. Taliban insurgents claimed they attacked the young woman because her British organization, SERVE Afghanistan, was spreading Christianity.

The charity denied it was proselytizing but decided to close its operation in the country following the killing.

Security has deteriorated in the capital and many parts of the country. Taliban insurgents and criminal gangs are blamed for a recent wave of killings and kidnappings targeting Afghans and foreigners.

Afghan authorities say several foreigners have been abducted in the past few days in the country. Among them are two Bangladeshi development workers in Ghazni province and two Turkish engineers hired to erect a communications tower near the Pakistani border in Khost province.


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