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Taliban bury top military commander

June 10, 2007|From the Associated Press

KANDAHAR, AFGHANISTAN — More than 100 relatives and tribal elders watched the Islamic burial of top Taliban commander Mullah Dadullah, who was killed in a U.S.-led operation last month, the militia's new commander said.

Dadullah, whose body was handed over to relatives last week by the Afghan government, was buried in the Zod Shar neighborhood of Kandahar city, new Taliban commander Mansoor Dadullah, his brother, said by satellite phone.

The Taliban released four medical workers in exchange for Mullah Dadullah's body, which the government said it had buried in a secret location in Kandahar. The militants had already beheaded one medical worker and said they would kill the other four if the body wasn't released.

Mansoor Dadullah, who was named as his brother's replacement shortly after his death, said he was in touch with Al Qaeda's leadership in Afghanistan, and the two organizations shared fighters. Al Qaeda militants help train the Taliban, he added.

The North Atlantic Treaty Organization, meanwhile, said one of its soldiers was killed Saturday in clashes in southern Afghanistan. The soldier's nationality and the battle's location were not released.

In Kandahar city, gunmen assassinated the chief administrator of provincial police late Saturday, said Esmatullah Alizai, the province's police chief.

A Taliban ambush of Afghan police in Kandahar's Shah Wali Kot district left five officers dead and four wounded, and in nearby Ghorak district, a police operation Thursday against suspected Taliban killed 10 militants and four police, Alizai said.

In Zabol province, coalition troops "wiped out" attackers who fired on them, spokesman Maj. Chris Belcher said.

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