12 Afghan Inmates Escape from Prison
12 Afghan Inmates Escape from Prison

Afghan police say 12 prisoners have escaped from a prison in western Afghanistan.

Police said Saturday the inmates broke out of the prison in Farah province by digging a tunnel from their cell to the outside.  Officials captured a 13th prisoner as he tried to escape.

In the northern province of Takhar, police say gunmen attacked and killed the provincial head of the Red Crescent organization Friday.

At least three suspects have been detained for the murder.

Local officials have suggested that the killing may have been prompted by a personal conflict, and was not related to the man's work.

And in the Afghan capital, Kabul, Saturday, security officials said a bomb in a trash can exploded in the city's center, causing little damage and no injuries.

A day earlier, Afghan President Hamid Karzai again called on the Taliban and other extremist groups to disarm and help rebuild the war-torn country.

During a speech to mark Afghanistan's first day of the Muslim holiday Eid al-Adha, Mr. Karzai asked those he called his Taliban "brothers" and everyone who has taken up arms against their homeland to join the government and help usher in peace and prosperity.

Mr. Karzai's appeal came after Taliban leader Mullah Omar ruled out talks with the president and urged Afghans to break ties with the Kabul government.

On Friday, NATO sources said nations that have committed troops to Afghanistan are expected to announce plans to send at least 4,000 more.

U.S. military officials have called for allied nations to send up to 10,000 additional troops, as U.S. President Barack Obama prepares to send more American soldiers.

News reports say Mr. Obama is most likely to call for the deployment of at least 30,000 more U.S. troops to add to the 68,000 U.S. troops already in Afghanistan.

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