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Afghan Police: Foreign Forces Kill Afghan Leader

Afghan police say international troops have killed a district governor and two of his bodyguards in southern Afghanistan.

Police Thursday said Rozi Khan Barekzai, governor of Chora district in Uruzgan province, was killed late Wednesday during a clash with international troops.

Afghan police say Khan went to help a friend who thought his home was surrounded by Taliban militants. Police say the man's home instead was surrounded by international forces, who mistook Khan and his two bodyguards for militants.

Barekzai was a tribal leader and a friend of Afghan President Hamid Karzai. In a statement today, Mr. Karzai expressed regret at Barekzai's killing and said the former provincial police chief was killed as a result of a misunderstanding.

NATO said it was investigating the incident. Australian troops serving with the alliance said they were engaged in a clash in Uruzgan province.

NATO said earlier that one of its soldiers was killed Thursday in an insurgent attack in eastern Afghanistan. It did not identify the soldier's nationality, although most foreign troops in the east are from the United States.

The United Nations today said violence in Afghanistan's south and east have kept nearly 70 percent of school-age children away from schools. U.N. and Afghan officials say at least 230 teachers and students have been killed in militant attacks in the last few years.

U.N. officials say the deteriorating situation has also allowed polio to spread in those regions, since the restive areas are inaccessible to medical staff who provide vaccinations. Two World Health Organization doctors were killed in a suicide car bombing on Sunday. They were working on a polio vaccination program.

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