Afghan police station set ablaze by Taliban

Kabul: Suspected Taliban rebels raided and set ablaze a police station in southeastern Afghanistan near the border with Pakistan, but there were no injuries, a provincial police commander said on Sunday.

More than 15 heavily armed attackers riding motorcycles raided a compound housing the station and district offices in Jani Khel in Paktika province early Saturday. Police briefly traded gunfire but were forced to retreat after running out of ammunition, provincial police chief Doulat Khan said.

"The Taliban also retreated after burning down a part of the compound," Khan said.

In recent months, Taliban insurgents, their al-Qaeda allies and militiamen loyal to renegade warlord Gulbuddin Hekmatyar have stepped up hit-and-run attacks against Afghan soldiers, government officials and humanitarian workers in the south and east of the country, the heartland of the hardline Islamic regime before its ouster by US-led forces in late 2001.

Khan said poorly armed police in isolated compounds throughout Paktika often confront heavily armed Taliban raiders.

"We asked for more ammunition and weaponry from the central arsenal in Kabul but so far we haven't received any," he said.

[Source: The Times Of India, Associated Press, 19oct03]

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Este documento ha sido publicado el 21oct03 por el Equipo Nizkor y Derechos Human Rights