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Suspected Taleban Guerrillas Kill 4 Afghan Members of Danish Aid Group - 2003-09-10

Officials in Afghanistan say suspected Taleban guerrillas have killed four Afghan employees of a Danish aid group in the violence-hit eastern part of the country.

Afghan officials and executives of the Danish Committee for Aid to Afghan Refugees say the incident took place Monday in the eastern province of Ghazni.

They say a group of their local employees was returning from a village in the district of Ab Band when several unknown armed men stopped their car, tied them up and then shot four of them to death.

Officials say a fifth aid worker was injured in the attack. He is being given medical treatment in a hospital in the capital, Kabul, and is said to have given authorities details of the incident.

A senior member of the Danish aid group says the victims were part of a water supply project in the area.

Afghan authorities are blaming members of the ousted Taleban government for the attack. The Islamic militants, with the help of local allies, have increased attacks against foreign and local troops as well as workers of western aid groups in the country.

The violence has left dozens of people dead in recent weeks. A U.S.-led anti-terrorism coalition is hunting these militants, and in a recent operation in the mountains of Zabul province, the coalition killed more than 100 suspected Taleban fighters with the help of Afghan troops.

The low-level guerilla war by the Taleban has forced aid groups to curtail relief and reconstruction efforts in southern and eastern Afghanistan.

A U.S.-led war removed the Taleban from power in Kabul in late 2001, but Taleban remnants have regrouped and are trying to destabilize the internationally-backed government of President Hamid Karzai.