Suspected Taleban insurgents have reportedly killed two children and 10 police in an ambush in southern Afghanistan. Coalition forces are now searching for the attackers.
An Afghan commander says the attack took place as the police officers and children were traveling together on the outskirts of Nesh, a town on the border between the violence-racked Kandahar and Uruzgan provinces.
The commander says the 16 attackers were fighters loyal to the former Taleban regime. He says one militant was killed and another injured in the fight, but the attackers took both their casualties with them when they fled.
He says the militants set the police vehicle on fire before driving off in a truck, which they later abandoned in a mountainous area.
The commander says about 130 Afghan and U.S. coalition forces have launched a search for the attackers in Uruzgan.
He says coalition troops also took two people into custody in Nesh, believed to have connections to the attackers.
The police had apparently been en route to their district headquarters in Nesh, on the Kandahar side of the provincial border, when the attack occurred. The commander had no explanation for the presence of the children, who may have been receiving a ride into town from the officers.
The region has been the site of a series of fatal attacks on police by suspected Taleban fighters, although this is the first such incident in several weeks.
Coalition troops are carrying out a month-long offensive in the southern region, dubbed "Operation Mountain Viper," using both ground and air assaults on suspected Taleban strongholds in the mountains.