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About a Dozen People Dead in Afghan Violence


New violence in Afghanistan has left about a dozen people dead.

Officials say suspected Taleban insurgents attacked a police post in southern Kandahar province, leaving five policemen and five militants dead. Six policemen were also wounded in the three-hour clash Monday night.

Separately, security officials say suspected Taleban rebels ambushed and killed an Afghan government official, Mohammed Zahir near Pakistan. In an exchange of fire, Zahir and one of the attackers were fatally shot, and at least one other militant was wounded.

The unrest came as Afghan President Hamid Karzai asked for greater cooperation from Pakistan in the fight against terrorism.

Mr. Karzai said Tuesday Pakistan and Afghanistan are the central pieces in the war against terrorism. He said unless there is sincere, intensive and systematic cooperation between them, the world will not be safe.

Also today, Pakistan strengthened security at its embassy in Kabul. Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Tasnim Aslam told VOA the security was increased after baseless allegations made Sunday by a former Afghan president that Islamabad was behind an attempt on his life.

The Taleban was ousted from power in Afghanistan by U.S.-led forces in late 2001. The invasion was carried out after the fundamentalist regime refused to hand over al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden following the September 11 terror attacks on the United States.

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