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Six hurt as blast hits convoy in Afghanistan

Also, a local police chief of Musa Qala province was ambushed and killed by suspected Taliban militants.
None | By Associated Press, Kandhar
UPDATED ON MAR 30, 2006 01:28 PM IST

Suspected Taliban militants ambushed and killed a local police chief and his brother in southern Afghanistan on Thursday, while a suicide car bomber attacked a foreign military convoy and wounded six Afghans, officials said.

The police commander of Musa Qala, a district in the southern Helmand province, and his brother were killed when their vehicle was attacked at about 10 am on the road between Musa Qala and the nearby town of Toughi, said Mullah Amir Akhandzada, Helmand's deputy governor.

The ambush followed a rare attack a day earlier on a coalition military base in Helmand's Sangin district.

Thirty-two Taliban militants, eight Afghan troops and an American and Canadian soldier were killed in ambushes, gun battles and missile strikes by warplanes in the bloodiest fighting in months.

"Taliban attacks have been increasing recently in Helmand province, but we have taken measures to prevent such attacks by deploying Afghan army and police forces in all areas and the coalition is helping a lot," Akhandzada told the agency.

Taliban militants have warned that they would be stepping up attacks against Afghan and coalition forces during the spring season.

The police chief's bodyguards exchanged gunfire briefly with the militants who fled the scene, said Akhandzada.

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