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Abducted Policemen Killed in Afghanistan

March 12, 2006|From the Associated Press

KANDAHAR, Afghanistan — Two policemen were beheaded and their bodies dumped in a desert after they were kidnapped from their homes in the heartland of Afghanistan's opium poppy region, an official said Saturday.

In other violence, a car carrying explosives blew up this morning near the convoy of a senior politician in Kabul, the Afghan capital, killing two suspected suicide attackers and a bystander. Four people were wounded, police said.

Sibghatullah Mojaddidi, head of a commission leading efforts for reconciliation between the Afghan government and Taliban militants, was driving to work when the explosion occurred on a Kabul street.

Mojaddidi and others in his convoy were not hurt, police official Zalmay Huryakhil said.

The violence Saturday in the southern province of Helmand was the latest to hit there since Afghan security forces launched a massive campaign earlier in the week to eradicate hundreds of acres of opium poppies, which are used to make heroin.

The two low-ranking policemen were abducted late Friday on the outskirts of Lashkar Gah, the provincial capital, provincial administrator Ghulam Muhiddin said.

He said it was unclear whether the Taliban or drug gangs were behind the killings and why the two officers were targeted.

In other violence, a roadside bomb in Helmand's Nad Ali district killed a policeman and wounded five others Saturday, said Abdul Rahman Sabir, the provincial police chief.

Also in Helmand, a roadside bomb in Sangin district killed two Afghan soldiers late Thursday, Gen. Rehmatullah Raufi said.

Four soldiers were wounded.

Taliban rebels have purportedly vowed to defend opium poppy farmers, though there have been no direct attacks on the heavily guarded teams of government workers. The teams use tractors to destroy the poppy fields.

Afghanistan is the source of nearly 90% of the world's opium and heroin.

Authorities suspect the insurgents receive funding from the drug business.

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